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5 Lunchtime Activities You Can Do To Relieve Work-Related Stress

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Jun. 5 2024, Published 8:10 a.m. ET

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Work can be one of the leading factors when it comes to increasing our stress levels. In some cases, it may feel unavoidable, particularly for those in high power or high intensity roles. But there are steps that can be made to try and limit that stress.

More and more people are struggling with mental health problems as a result of the workplace these days, and visit any private mental health clinic and you’ll find people looking to get their lives back on track because of it.

But what exactly can be done to try and manage work-related stress? Well, there are a number of lunchtime activities that could provide you with the refreshing mental break you need…

Enjoy mindful eating and a nice view.

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Of course, we need to eat at lunchtime, but practicing in the art of mindful eating can not only provide you with the nutrients you need but also engage your senses and relieve stress. Firstly, pick a nice location to do this, perhaps a park or a cafe with a good view. Then it’s all about engaging your senses. Take note of the textures, flavours and aromas of your food. It’ll provide you with an escape from work and start to calm those stress levels down. 

Alongside this, eating healthily will also make a huge difference, opting for food that will boost your energy rather than ending in that food coma we all dread come 2pm.

Take a relaxing stroll.

Get out of the office environment and take a leisurely walk. Ideally, you’d want to do this in a green space like a park or down by a river, completely escaping the hustle and bustle, but if that’s not possible then even down the high street can make a small difference, getting a bit more fresh air and experiencing the sights and sounds of something different.

What’s more, if you’re lucky enough to have showering facilities at your workplace, then a refreshing run could also be worthwhile. It’s perhaps not worth doing anything too strenuous, but a brisk jog can provide the perfect refreshment and mind clearer before the afternoon gets started.

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Express yourself in a quiet environment.

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While a screen break is important if you’re using one all day, there’s no reason you can’t express yourself on paper. If you’ve got a creative streak, engage in some creative writing or drawing. Both can be incredibly cathartic and unload the emotional baggage you may have been carrying throughout the morning. 

Picking a quiet spot in the office, or heading over to the nearest park or green space can be excellent for this. It’ll give you the mental clarity to take on the rest of the day. 

Try guided meditation.

This is becoming more and more commonplace at lunch breaks these days. Meditation is scientifically proven to reduce stress and there are dozens of great apps out there that can offer stress release. 

All you need is a quiet area in which you can plug in and go through a guided meditation session. It’ll release tension as well as improve concentration for the remainder of the day. What’s more, it’s a great idea for an open session that other colleagues can join too.

Among the best apps out there at present include Headspace, Calm and Beyond Meditation. However, there are dozens upon dozens that all work well, so it’s just about finding the right one for you. 

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Enjoy a hobby or join a club.

Finally, there are lots of ways to enjoy hobbies and interests at lunchtime. This could be forming a workplace book club, or heading out for a run or taking part in a yoga class. It’s a great way to get some enjoyment from your day, destress and create a positive environment for yourself.

Of course, classes could revolve around anything. It could be getting people involved in meditation, art, running, even getting a little more creative with quizzes, treasure hunts and the like, actively getting more people involved and completely removing you from work for an hour. 

Just spending that one-hour break per day wisely can prove a real game-changer, and while it won’t completely eliminate stress, it will help reduce it and enable you to manage it better, reducing your chances of developing a more severe mental health condition.

So, if you are struggling, whether that be in the office or even working from home, make sure you’re getting that little bit of time to yourself each day. It could make all the difference…

This article was written by Eve Crabtree and originally appeared on Your Coffee Break.

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