1. Taking A Walk
Walking incorporates a couple benefits wrapped into one. Sitting hunched over in an office cubicle all day or at one’s desk can make many people antsy and fidgety. Either right before or after a lunch break, taking a short stroll around the block from the office can be a great way to relieve stress.
Breathing in the fresh air and getting the blood flowing can help a lot of people blow off some steam or tension that has been building throughout the day. It can also distract one from any stressful situations or circumstances that they have already encountered. After a few steps outside of the workplace, one can feel refreshed and ready to complete the second half of their day.
2. Listening To Music
Believe it or not, the sounds of fax machines, coffee makers, and noisy coworkers can be downright irritating. Especially if one is extremely busy and trying to accomplish a long list of responsibilities to meet that crucial deadline! The sounds around a working environment can become frustrating and hinder people from having the ability to focus on their responsibilities. Luckily, music gives people the ability to tune out from the world and not let anyone else into that space.
There are a few different genres of music that might be more relaxing than others. While listening to an upbeat pop song or hardcore rock tune might be favorable, musical tracks with few or no lyrics are proven to have a very calming effect on people who are experiencing high levels of stress at work.
- Classical Music – Listening to a waltz composition or piece from a familiar soundtrack is perfect for letting go of nuisance that’s lingering around. The “1-2-3” beat and array of soft sounds from instruments can provide a very peaceful atmosphere and set a more relaxing mood for the short 30 minutes or an hour that people have for a lunch break during their work day.
- Nature sounds – If it’s raining outside or one lives in a loud city, it might be pleasant to play the sound of a running waterfall, wildlife noises, and perhaps a small piece of music to compliment them all.
3. Drinking Coffee
While this doesn’t have to be the exact beverage of choice, taking the time to brew a pot of coffee takes up a good amount of time and removes people from an already stressful environment. Bringing in an exciting new flavor or just brewing an old-fashioned generic brand is the perfect way to relax during a lunch break. Taking in the scent of a fresh pot of coffee and giving the body a little caffeine can boost moods and keep people from becoming more irritable as the day goes on. If one isn’t a huge fan of caffeine, they can always take time to sit in the office kitchen and have a refreshing glass of water.
4. Writing/Collecting Thoughts
Writing during a lunch break is probably one of the best ways to get out any emotions and work through stressful situations. While enjoying a snack or lunch, writing down why one might be stressed or frustrated can be a great way to not only express feelings, but also release any negative or unpleasant emotions they might be experiencing. Additionally, writing about any topic is a great way to unleash creativity and might actually help people better themselves or work projects they might be responsible for.
5. Re-organizing Space
Sometimes a little change is good for office space. Re arranging furniture or a desk can be a nice way to refresh the day and start off on a positive note. If a window is available, placing one’s desk in front or near an open window can provide a very relaxing setting.
If a quiet spot is nearby or there is a gym within the office building, taking as little as five minutes to meditate and gather one’s thoughts is a quick way to relax during a lunch break and find some peace of mind.
- Breathing Techniques – Focusing on deep inhales and exhales is the number one way to relieve stress during a lunch break on the job. It doesn’t require any additional items and one can do it while sitting at the kitchen table or their desk. If people are ever feeling anxious, breath control is a simple way to calm the nerves.
- Balancing – Since the practice of yoga requires a lot of balance and intense focus, it’s also an efficient way to get in a short workout and some stretching while on a lunch break. Instead of jogging or hitting the treadmill right after a meal, taking a few minutes to hold a few poses is a safe and healthy way to relax.
7. Step Away From The Desk Or Work Area
Sometimes people are so busy that they feel the need to work through their lunch break while sitting at their desks. Unfortunately, this can continue to perpetuate stress and even increase levels since one is not actually taking a break. Whether it’s going to the kitchen, restroom, break room, or outside, it’s relaxing to remove one self from their place of work.
Photo: Thomas Hawk