5 ways to use a mid-day break to lift your mood

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You might be tempted to skip lunch to keep working or to rush through it, but you’ll be in a much better mood and get more done if you take a mid-day break. An actual break. Lunch is the perfect time not just to eat something delicious, but also to set yourself up for a great second half of the day.

Here are 5 simple tips to make the most of your mid-day break:

Stop and eat. No, really, stop. Don’t just have lunch at your desk or in your car or over the sink. Stop. Sit down. Enjoy your food while you’re not doing anything else. Your food will taste better, research suggests you’re less likely to overeat, and you’ll feel more satisfied for the rest of the day. Pinky swear.

Go for a walk outside. Even if you only have a few minutes, or even ifaunt to stretch your muscles and get some fresh air. Recent studies have shown that taking a walk during lunch — even a slow-paced one — helps improve your mood for the rest of the day.

Connect with someone you love. Call your spouse, text a friend, or chat with your favorite coworker (but not about work). Make a point of reaching out for a personal connection as part of even busy days. (Once you start doing this, you may be amazed to discover how little you used to break for “frivolous” interaction throughout the day, and how much better it makes you feel.)

If you must keep going, treat yourself. We all have those busy days when we can only take a long enough break to run errands or go to the doctor or run the kids somewhere. It happens. On those days, make sure you do a little something nice for you in there. Stop for your favorite beverage, listen to your favorite music in the car; it doesn’t matter what it is, only that it’s a treat for you.

Take at least one minute to be still and breathe. You breathe all the time, right? No biggie. But how often do you really just stop everything else and sit with yourself and empty your mind and just… be? If you have time for yoga or meditation, all the better, but whether you do or not, try taking a minute or two midday to consciously re-ground yourself. You may be surprised to discover how great it feels.

Have a great lunch….and a great day!

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