Eight ways to make the most of your lunch hour (and leave your desk)

When a deadline is looming and you find yourself under pressure at work, the temptation to “dine à la desk” and wolfe down your lunch in between frantic keyboard-pummelling can be strong. Doing this every once in a while is understandable (sometimes, even necessary), but when eating at your desk becomes part of a daily routine? Well, that’s when the alarm bells should be ringing.

Lunchtime presents an opportunity to take a step back from the task at hand and inject a moment of peace into your working day. Whether it be with your colleagues or by yourself, the positive effects that come with even 45 minutes away from the desk are substantial, with desk-leavers reporting boosts in energy levels; a renewed sense of focus; greater mental clarity and increased job life satisfaction overall.

If you rarely leave your desk during the working day and habitually ignore the "break" art of the term “lunch break”, then have a look at the list below. There are a few nice ways to take a mental breather during the lunch hour, and our guess is that once you give them a go, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without the break before.

Go for a walk

To combat afternoon slumps in enthusiasm and focus, take a walk during the lunch hour. Even gentle lunchtime strolls can have a significant (and immediate) effect on people’s moods and ability to handle stress at work.

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Take a lunchtime gym class

Let’s face it, this is Ireland so sometimes a walk in the great outdoors isn’t always possible. If you’re based nearby a gym or sports hall, look into whether it offers lunchtime classes. Most do, and they often offer special mid-week/ package deals, too.

Practice sophrology

Sophrology is a mindfulness practice that combines various relaxation techniques, including yoga, Japanese zen, Buddhist meditation, and hypnosis. It promises to boost physical and mental health by increasing inner harmony, and can be done anywhere from a park bench to a quiet conference room.

Take a drive out to the sea

Nothing clears the head like a blast of fresh sea air and the fact that Ireland is an island means that the opportunity to get out to the coast is often not too unattainable. Put some calming, feelgood music on in the car and you’ll come back to the office a new person.

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Retail therapy

There’s nothing like the purchase of a show-stopper dress or a pair of fierce, don’t-mess-with-me heels to ensure that you stay in a good mood all afternoon and successfully dodge the 3pm slump. It has to be real life shopping though, as online browsing will just keep you tied to your desk...

Embrace a hobby

Taking up a hobby might be very on-trend at the moment, but it’s also a particularly effective way to mentally floss during your lunch break. Whether it’s a spot of embroidery, knitting, or carrying out a crossword, engaging in another task entirely will give your brain the screen-free time it needs.

Write a letter

Receiving a handwritten letter from a penpal or loved-one is one of those things that you can’t help but delight in, no matter your age. Writing letters is a special way to tell someone you’re thinking of them, so taking the time to sit somewhere quiet and put pen to paper is sure to bring about some seriously good vibes while embracing the gesture of a bygone era.

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Take the time to actually enjoy your food

Sitting at a desk while you eat can often mean that your enjoyment of the meal in question is considerably reduced. By making a conscious effort to eat your lunch away from a computer and phone screen, you’re giving yourself the opportunity to truly enjoy your meal and inadvertently practice mindfulness at the same time. This means that you can savour every bite of your salad, every slurp of your hearty soup and every sip of the cappuccino you treated yourself to, to finish it all off.

If you want to get yourself an easy, healthy and nourishing quick lunch-fix, then take a look at the Greene Farm range. Their complete range of hand prepared chicken, turkey and beef is made from 100% natural ingredients and free from allergens. It provides a nourishing addition to any salad or sandwich combo to give you the perfect lunch every time.

Want some healthy, easy lunchbox recipes? Visit Greene Farm Facebook page and see how you can #TakeBackLunch

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