It’s time to take back the lunch break.
Always struggled to find a work/life balance? Never actually taken your lunch hour? Well then working from home might just be the moment you’ve been waiting for all your life.
But let’s rewind a bit — to around a month ago, when we were all cruising along in our normal lives with our normal jobs. Here’s a typical conversation…
“Lunch breaks suck bro,” begins my trusty friend…
She was having a rough time at a new job where she does a lot of sitting: telecoms. “Especially if you don’t pack lunch, you’ll spend the whole 30 minutes trying to buy something you won’t get tome to eat.”
I asked my contacts to tell me what it is they do with their lunch breaks. The response was a little… discouraging. People just either aren’t taking their lunch breaks, or they don’t feel like they have the luxury. “We eat on the run,” said Clement, a resident GP at Melomed Hospital in Mitchell’s Plain. His schedule also makes for rather shady lunching times.
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“I don’t really leave my desk,” says Khathu, single dad and development specialist at Media24. He’s lucky to have access to a games room fully loaded with PlayStation and a ping pong table. “Comes in handy; sometimes I walk outside,” he claims.
What my findings show is that not enough people pack value into their lunch breaks.
I was shook and yet oddly inspired.
With lockdown and working from home the new “normal”, now is an excellent time to take back your lunch break. By engaging in activities which stimulate our feel-good hormones. I’ve compiled an uncomplicated selection of physical acts of self-care — all of which can be done on the clock, during your lunch hour…
Working from home lunch-break maximisers…
1. Join the WH 21-Day Challenge
So you’ve just had your midday snack but a few more minutes to kill? It’s not too late to jump in on the Women’s Health 21-Day Challenge to stay fit and healthy during lockdown. Think: 7 equipment-free workouts, 7 yoga practices, 7 self-care exercises. We got this!
2. Pop a squat
Yes, you should do them every day, according to personal trainers. Bonus: They require minimum space and equipment, and you can easily adjust them to your fitness level.
3. Take the lunge
There are a bunch of non-boring variations to give yourself a full-on lower body workout. Stretch those legs and that bum — you’ve been sitting for too long.
4. Try burpees
Okay, bear with me for a second. The point is to get you out of your seat and get that body warmed up. And it’s good to challenge yourself once in a while. So if you feeling a little sluggish, try these burpee varations. Tip: It pays to find a partner to keep you motivated. Something for you and your long-lost office bae to indulge in via Zoom?
5. Walk or jog around the flat, garden, parking lot
While the buzz is high, take your walkers for a spin. What’s that over there? A squirrel! You don’t see that every day.
6. Do actual push-ups —seriously
Think about it: What’s actually stopping you from pumping out a few sets right where you stand? Push-ups are super easy to perform and require zero equipment.
7. Meditate or journal
The benefits of meditation are well known. Always wanted to try it but never had the time? Well, now you do. Not ready to take the full-on zen plunge? Start a gratitude journal. (Psst: Check out the Women’s Health Mindfulness Manual on shelves when you do your next essentials shopping trip.)
8. Dance, dance, dance
Who says the only place to get it shaking is the club? Check out online dance classes. Anyone can do them. Or just crank up some tunes and move in any way you like. You’re guaranteed to be smiling by the end of the hour!
9. Do yoga
We all need some me time, to reflect, to gather ourselves and just… breathe. Plus: You’ll get the best out of your day if you warm up those muscles. Trust us. Check out the Women’s Health YouTube channel for free yoga flows. You’re welcome.