A mid-day break can make or break your day. If you skip it, you'll have little energy left to take care of your family later during your second shift. But if you take the right kind of mid-day break you can set yourself up for a successful and happy evening.
So what is the secret sauce to taking a successful mid-day break? The first step is scheduling it and the second is having something planned that you look forward to doing. Something that compels you to walk away from your work and have fun. Your goal will be to make taking a mid-day break a good habit.
Unsure where to start? We've got your back. Here are a few clever ways to take a mid-day break so you can enjoy the rest of your day.
Stop to Eat Something
When you are tempted to work through lunch think about the consequences. Although a third of US workers chose to eat at their desks and work it decreases your energy. Working efficiently is the key to career success, not constantly working. So schedule your lunch break on your calendar every
Is there a yummy meal you love to eat at work? You're going to need something better than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to get you away from your desk. Pinterest is great for research lunch ideas that you can prepare ahead of time. Grabbing takeout may seem easy, but it's time-consuming. If you meal plan for your family dinners, then apply the same tactics to your lunch.
Find Your Happy Place at Work
This happy place at work is a place you'll retreat to on those days when work feels hectic and you want to unplug. After you eat lunch, head to the ladies room, then go on an excursion. Find a quiet place in your lobby, or rock you can sit on outside, and take some time for yourself. Make sure it's a place no one will disturb you can enjoy some silence. Silence is golden, right?
Bring a book or meditate and resist the urge to stare at your phone. You'll appreciate this screen-free time later when you have more energy to spend on your family. You could also pack an adult coloring book and supplies in a bag you can quickly grab. Or if you have privacy, do some yoga stretches.
Take Movement Breaks
Do you feel drained in the late afternoon? Although it may not feel like the opportune time to move your body, go do a flight of stairs. Get away from your desk for ten minutes and move your body. It won't take long, I promise, plus you'll feel the benefits later on when you have the energy to play with your kids later.
If you don't have stairs a quick walk is just as good. Just be sure it's not a leisurely one. Pick up the pace to increase your heart rate plus you'll get back to your desk quicker.
Eat an Apple
Have you heard the rumor that eating an apple is like drinking coffee? Yeah, that made me laugh, too. A working mom knows how important coffee is to thrive at work!
But there are some perks to eating an apple mid-day instead of a cup of joe. Apples contain natural fructose sugar that will give you an energy boost and a healthier one than coffee will. It also has more calories than coffee! If eating an apple feels too messy, you can peel and slice up your apple and squeeze some lemon juice on them to prevent browning. Pack a side of peanut butter or almond butter for a protein burst!
Allow Water to Energize You
Drinking water will not energize you, but keeping yourself hydrated is a sure way to keep your energy levels up! So in the late afternoon walk away from your desk to fill up your water bottle. Guzzle it while you head to the ladies room. Then splash a bit of cold water to wake up you. You can also put your wrist under the faucet to lower your body temperature to wake you up a bit.
If you find yourself dragging in the afternoon it may be because you haven't had enough water. Soda or seltzer water does not hydrate your body as well as water. For a little pick me up, add some ice!
Find a Reason to Laugh
Work stressing you out in the afternoon? Find a way to make yourself laugh. The first step is to smile. This can be challenging when you're feeling stressed. A great trick is to get some kind of funny day-to-day calendar. You can glance at the joke of the day and crack a smile. Or frame a hilarious picture of your kids that will put a big smile on your face.
Once these tricks bring you back to reality, meaning work isn't your life so don't let it stress you out, start to laugh. Even if it's fake at first, keep trying to giggle. Eventually, you'll get a good chuckle and will get a quick burst of energy.
Now that you have some things to do during lunch or late afternoon, head to your calendar. Find pockets of time you can schedule quick ten minute breaks and put them on your calendar. Put lunch on your calendar, too so you can make plans to perk up. This is the cleverest trick of them all! Plan it and you'll more likely do it!