Eating your lunch at your desk and working through the day like a trooper may seem like the obvious way to maximise your time at the office. However, if you can use your lunch break time wisely, you’ll enjoy enhanced brain function in key areas, translating into a more productive day for your business (and a healthier you!)
Here are four ways that you can utilise your break time to not only enjoy it more, and also reap the benefits of a well nourished brain.
You already know that regular exercise is great for your fitness and makes your doctor happy. But if you needed more of an excuse to grab some Vitamin D during your break, raising your heart rate with a brisk walk or jog also gives you proven and immediate brain benefits. As reported by Harvard Health Publishing, you’ll enjoy faster reaction times, decision making, and an improved memory after as little as 20 minutes of moderate exercise
If you’d rather stay inside on these chilly Melbourne days, yoga might be the way to go. Comparable to other forms of exercise, the University of Illinois found that after a 20 minute yoga session, people are able to maintain focus, process and remember new information better than their usual capabilities.
Further, yoga has been proven to reduce immediate stress levels. Following the psychological model known as ‘Yerkes-Dodson’s Law’, a certain amount of stress is good for your work ethic. It’s what motivates you to work to your deadlines and to stop hitting the snooze button in the morning. But past that sweet-spot, stress actually reduces your functionality. You’ve probably experienced this yourself at some point.
Yoga is a great way to bring your stress levels back into line in real time, letting you focus and get on with your work.
Lucky for you, I’ll be organising regular CoWork Me yoga sessions starting in July, so you’ll have easy access to this great lunch-time stress buster.
Eat your Fats
Your brain is composed of a bunch of neurons, all firing to help your cognitive processes, like problem-solving and creativity, run smoothly. Those neurons are covered with a fatty layer which insulates the electrical impulse, and makes sure it gets from one neuron to the next. To keep your brain working effectively, we need to consume a balanced diet complete with fatty acids to make sure these neurons are well nourished.
Adding some healthy fats (in particular, omega-3s) to your lunch, like avocado or oily fish, and keeping some seeds or nuts on hand to snack on, will make sure your brain is being well-kept throughout the day.
In case you needed another reason to step away from the desk, face-to-face socialising (not over Facebook!) is linked to the lowering of stress hormones, both immediately and in the long run. It might surprise you, but socialising has also been consistently linked to improved immune function, giving you better protection from any circulating cold or flu viruses. That means less time spent away from the office in recovery, and more time to dedicate to your business. And what better way to socialise than by chatting up some of your CoWork Me mates over a coffee in the lunchroom, and finding out about what special skills and services they offer.
In summary, in an industry where productivity is more important than hours logged, make use of your lunch time wisely, and you’ll not only enjoy your day more, but be more effective too.