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Take Back the Lunch

Are you someone who skips their lunch breaks or eats at your desk? If so, this day for you. 17 June is National Take Back the Lunch Break Day. Why? Well, there has been an increasing trend towards taking less frequent and shorter lunch breaks. And this is affecting employee morale and well-being with issues such as stress and burnout.

Research has shown that the average lunch break is less than 30 minutes. And that’s barely enough time to buy something, let alone time to have a rest and eat it. Not having a proper break will affect your concentration and productivity. Most of those who do take a break, report that they feel refreshed and more energised. Although as Tim Berners-Lee (English Computer Scientist and inventor of the World Wide Web) said, “Anyone who has lost track of time when using a computer knows the propensity to dream, the urge to make dreams come true and the tendency to miss lunch”.

This trend is part of an erosion of personal / private time that we all need. The “always on” culture is ultimately bad for our physical and mental health. So, today of all days, take a full lunch break, find somewhere nice to eat lunch and enjoy a little “me” time.

So, how do you break the habit of skipping lunch? Well as with all habits it’s about gradually retraining yourself. Firstly, change your perception of lunch. It’s not about food being fuel, it’s about taking some quality time to eat something nice, perhaps with your friends and colleagues. Make sure you buy or bring to work something tasty and delicious. The idea is that you look forward to lunch, not just get it out of the way.

Don’t forget that your lunch break is your time. Use it to do something you want to do. Perhaps, get some reading done, take a walk or go for a run or enjoy a bit of nature and fresh air.

You may want to set a reminder for yourself to eat lunch at a particular time every day. This habit, combined with the delicious lunch you have planned, helps you break the cycle.

Do you have someone to have lunch with? Someone to remind you to take a break? It’s important to have a best friend at work, to have a coffee with and to eat lunch with. Perhaps there are a group of people you can lunch with. Group and peer pressure is part of the support group system used to break addictions.

So, remember to escape your desk, enjoy some fresh air, have a real lunch and maybe some social interaction. Why not use #takebacklunch to share your new lunch break routine on social media.

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