9 Better Lunch Break Options Than Eating Alone (and Working!)

By Robert Half on December 11, 2014 at 8:00am

Fewer than two out of 10 workers regularly take a lunch break away from their desks.

Not good. Your lunch break can be an excellent chance to do some networking or recharge for the rest of the day.

Here are nine better ways to spend your lunch break than scarfing down a sandwich at your workstation:

1. Stand up

You put yourself at a greater risk for heart disease, diabetes or cancer — not to mention becoming overweight — by sitting all day. Staring at your computer screen during the work day can cause eye strain and vision problems. Stand up, walk or workout during your lunch to improve your energy, focus, mood and overall health.

2. Read

Have you wanted to read "Moby Dick" for years but haven’t found the time? Or do you have a favorite web comic or blog that you like to catch up on? Reading something you enjoy during your lunch break could inspire you creatively.

3. Eat healthy

Don’t settle for a burger and fries at the fast food joint near the office. Refueling with a healthy lunch from home or a favorite restaurant will give you the energy you need for the rest of your work day.

4. Get a table for two

Use the midday break to catch up with a friend, get to know a new coworker outside the office or compare notes with someone new in your network.

5. Listen to music

Do you prefer classical music to unwind? Or heavy metal to unleash your stress? However you take your music, listening to your favorite tunes can provide stress relief and inspiration during lunchtime. Just be sure to use headphones or earbuds like those that come with most mobile devices if you’re in a space near other people.

6. Take a power nap

Did you know that napping for half an hour improves your thinking? Not everyone can do this in or near the workplace, of course. Don’t make it awkward and conk out at your cubicle, but if you’re able to, use your lunchtime to catch up on a few z’s.

7. Get organized

“Simplify! Simplify! Simplify! Our life is frittered away with details,” Thoreau said. The stress caused by a cluttered personal life can weigh you down. Use your lunch break to take care of items on your to-do list.

8 Assess

No one likes to feel like they’re spinning their wheels at work. Use your lunch break to consider the morning’s achievements, paying attention to what you’ve done well and what you can improve on.

9. Do something you enjoy

Using your lunch break to do what makes you happy is often what you need in the middle of the workday. Watch cute kitten videos or see what’s new on Amazon. Essentially, enjoy your time.

How do you like to use your lunch break? Do you even take a lunch break? We hope so! Tell us what you do in the comments section.

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