Breaks are important. Even short breaks of 30 minutes can help you to keep up the momentum and work more effectively, especially if you’re studying for an exam or working on a challenging project.
However, the way you spend your lunch break can impact your productivity levels, and how rested you really are. Endlessly scrolling through social media might seem like a good way to disconnect from the task at hand, but there are many things you can do to truly relax that will also make returning to work much easier.
So, in this article, we list 10 things you can do in a 30-minute lunch break that will help you really rest, while also making sure you return to work in the best possible frame of mind.
1. Do some exercise
Even a short blast of exercise will leave you feeling energised and ready to work. It’s also the perfect anecdote to feeling drowsy from a long stretch of working or studying.
You don’t need long – anything from a quick 20-minute session, a quick jog, or even a brisk walk will do the trick. Moving your body will wake you up, get your endorphins pumping, and make it easier to focus when you get back to work.
Working and studying can be tough on the brain, so taking some time out to completely clear your mind is a great way to de-stress and reset your head. Meditating is particularly useful if you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious.
When your brain feels too full of information – a short-guided meditation of just 10 minutes will be enough to clear some space in your head to help you keep studying, feel less stressed and help maintain focus. Try an app like Headspace or look for a meditation channel on YouTube.
3. Eat something nutritious and healthy
It’s important to fuel your brain. So, while you have half an hour free, make yourself something tasty and nutritious. The more nutritious the snack is, the better! It will provide you with the energy you need to keep working, while also taking you away from the task completely.
Be sure to eat mindfully, too. Don’t eat while watching TV or scrolling on your phone. Sit and enjoy the food peacefully and presently. And lastly - be sure to avoid an overload of sugar. This will only result in a big sugar crash later down the line. Not good for the afternoon ahead.
4. Take a (short) nap
Sleeping is fuel for the brain. If you’re finding it hard to keep your eyes open while working, a 30-minute nap may be exactly what your body’s asking for. But make sure you don’t fall into a deep sleep – short and sweet is the key to making sure you wake up refreshed and ready to carry on working.
5. Go for a walk
Get outside, clear your mind and get some blood pumping. Something as simple as a walk is an effective and enjoyable way to spend a short break. Plus, it offers all the benefits of a meditation session, while also incorporating some gentle exercise.
6. Change your location
Working in the same place can get demotivating, especially if you’re working on something particularly challenging. If you’re feeling distracted, a change of scenery could be exactly what you need.
If you’re able to, use your lunch break to move to café or library, or any other space that you’re not used to. It’s amazing what working from a new space can do your productivity levels.
7. Read some of your book
Reading is a great way to spend your break. This is because it keeps you stimulated while also offering a real escape from the work you’re doing. So, take half an hour to settle into a good chapter or two of your favourite book.
8. Write in a journal
Work can be challenging, especially if you find a task difficult to get your head around. That’s why taking 30 minutes to write about something a bit easier – for example your feelings or even a short story – can be a really good way to spend your break.
By doing this, you’ll find yourself enjoying a break from your work, while also generating a work flow that can seep into your work too.
9. Clean your workspace
There’s nothing more distracting than a messy work area – and this can really hinder your ability to focus. Spending some of your break cleaning up your immediate surroundings can make it a lot easier to get work done, and also offers a good way to disconnect from a challenging task.
10. Listen to a new album
For music lovers, taking half an hour to listen to some new music is a great way to fully disconnect from your work. Find yourself somewhere comfortable to sit and really enjoy the music - without doing anything else! By doing this, you’ll give yourself a true, undistracted appreciation for the new music, while also giving you the complete break you need from your work.
Enjoy your lunch break at Grumpy Mule
Grumpy Mule café is the perfect place to spend your break. Take advantage of our chill out area and enjoy quiet surroundings and comfy seating. We also offer a range of freshly made, nutritious sandwiches and wraps to fuel you for your afternoon ahead.