Make the most of your free time
And if you're saying 'Lunch break? What lunch break?' you should know that almost all employees are entitled by law to a lunch break - all covered by the Working Time Regulations.
So assuming that you do have a lunch break, seize the opportunity to get away from work. even if you only walk to the sandwich shop, you'll give your brain a break and stretch your legs. But there's much more you can do - here are five suggestions...
GO FOR A WALK: the urban walking website www.walkit.com will generate a circular walk from where you are, for as long as you want. Handily, it also points out the places you'll pass along the way, so you can still pick up that bottle of wine or birthday card.
LEARN SOMETHING: lots of organisations offer lunchtime courses. I recently learnt how to make bath bombs at Morley College, run as part of Waterloo Quarter's Packed Lunch programme. To find something near you, Google 'lunchtime courses' or 'lunchtime lectures' and the area where you work.
SEE AN EXHIBITION: admittedly, not everyone is within striking distance of world-class galleries and museums but broaden your thinking: colleges, town halls, pubs and outdoor spaces all hold exhibitions.
SPEND TIME IN NATURE: observe the changing of the seasons up close. Experiencing the natural world is guaranteed to lift your mood, so head for the park, common, playing fields... (and it's free).
EAT SOMEWHERE NEW: if you always go for cheese and pickle or the latest Boots meal deal, refresh your tastebuds by trying that new café down the road. It might not be your best lunch ever, but at worst you know not to go there again, and you can offer an informed opinion to colleagues. But you'll have had a change of scenery. 'Eat in' and indulge in a spot of people-watching.
INVITE SOMEONE ALONG: turn a statutory break into an opportunity for socialising, with colleagues you already hang out with, or someone new. You may even make a new friend.
If you have difficulty prising yourself away from your desk, put your chosen activity into your diary, like a business appointment. (And by the way, if you like to eat 'al desko' be aware that it's likely to be more germ-ridden than a toilet seat...)
Save time spent shopping for your lunch: bring a packed lunch that saves you £££ and lbs
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