6 Productive Ways You Can Spend Your Lunch Break

Melissa is a mother of 2, lives in Utah, and writes for a multitude of sites. She is currently the EIC of HarcourtHealth.com and writes about health, wellness, and business topics.

You can view your hour-long lunch break in the middle of the day as just that, a lunch break, or you can see it as an opportunity to benefit yourself. The options for self-improvement are virtually limitless.

6 Ways to Spend Your Lunch Break

If you’re one of the lucky few who get an entire hour for lunch – and can spend that time however you want – you should be thanking your lucky stars. You’re essentially getting paid for an hour of free time.

Use it constructively and you’ll be much better for it.

1. Take a Nap

Some might say it’s a waste of time, but a nap in the middle of the day can actually be pretty effective. The key is to have a strategy for how you nap. Too long of a nap will create diminishing returns – so keep it short.

“Even something as seemingly insubstantial as twenty minutes of shut-eye can give an immediate and potent boost to your alertness and motor skills,” Sleepopolis explains. “After taking one, you can experience a rush of energy and clarity. Taking what’s known as a ‘NASA nap’ of 26 minutes has been shown to enhance alertness by 54%.”

2. Read a Book

Do you wish you read more books, but complain about not having enough time? Your lunch break is the perfect opportunity. The average person can read somewhere around 50-80 pages per hour (depending on a number of different factors). For the purposes of this illustration, let’s say you can read 60 pages per hour and that the average book is 300 pages long. By simply reading during your lunch break and nothing else, you could read one book per week, or more than 50 books per year!

3. Exercise

You’re supposed to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity per day in order to remain in good cardiovascular shape. If you committed to doing a quick workout every day at lunch, you could lose weight, increase your stamina, and enjoy better overall health.

4. Start a Hobby

Every person needs a hobby. Hobbies provide joy and meaning outside of work and are a great outlet. You could learn to fix up vintage cars, build furniture, make dollhouses, sew, play tennis – it’s your choice. An hour a day is plenty of time to learn a new skill and develop a hobby.

5. Meditate

Stressful day? A 60-minute break from work at the noon hour is enough time to gather your thoughts and readjust your focus for the rest of the day. And as kooky as it may sound, meditation might be the best thing you can do for yourself.

While you may choose to practice a specific Eastern Asian form of meditation, it doesn’t have to be that formal. For you, meditation might look like sitting in your car, embracing the quiet and solicitude, and being conscious about controlling your thoughts.

6. Take a Course

Always wanted to get an online degree? Earn your real estate license? Learn how to speak a second language? With an hour per day – and five hours per week – you could make some pretty strong headway in these pursuits by taking an online course.

Maximize Your Downtime

You can view your lunch period as time to be passed, or you can look at it as a time designated for self-improvement. Whether you want to take a nap and recharge for the rest of the day, or learn a new hobby, the important thing is that you’re doing something. Sitting there and mindlessly scrolling through social media is not the answer.