A lunch break or an exercise session may seem like something there is no time for – but in reality, taking the time for your needs can lead to better productivity and a more mentally alert day.
“I want to eat lunch and work out, but I just don’t have the time”
It’s one thing to say that you want to live a healthy lifestyle and it is quite another to actually do it. Usually the reason people don’t follow through is because they don’t have the time. Or at least they think they don’t. When it comes to medical professionals, however, being short of time is often true.
If you fall into that category of people whom cannot make it to the gym, hit the trails or set an hour or two a day aside to work on your physical fitness, you have to find ways to maximize the little bit of time you do have. When you’re working in a hospital, the few breaks you have are to be treasured as they as are what keeps you sane.
Lunch breaks matter.
For most healthcare professionals, their lunchbreak is sacred, with good reason! Your lunchbreak is the one time you have an opportunity to stop and decompress. You should never skip your lunchbreak to earn brownie points or try to be a team player. Doing so here and there is one thing, but over the long haul it will take a toll on you physical and mental health. Therefore, the first step to a healthy lunchbreak is making sure you take one!
The second most important thing about your lunchbreaks is knowing how to use them. You may have a half hour or less for lunch, so you have to make the most of it. Using a few tips and tricks from seasoned pros can help you do just that, and stay healthier along the way.
Pack your lunch the night before.
Packing your lunch is important for two reasons. The first is that you can ensure you have something healthy to eat. The second is that you don’t have to waste time in a cafeteria line to get it. The time you save can be used to do something productive.
Skip the sugary drinks.
We all know that the sugary soft drinks and energy drinks are detrimental to our health. We know that the bit of quick energy they may provide comes with an even bigger crash, but as a whole, we guzzle them down at an alarming rate. Make a decision to skip them and then stick to it! Natural juices and ever water are better for you and if you need energy, there are others ways to get a healthy boost.
Go for a walk (preferably outside).
You’ll rarely have time to hit the gym during your lunchbreak, but you can usually find the time to take a quick walk. Aside from the obvious physical benefits that exercise provides, it is a mental break as well, providing a nice little recharge before heading back into the trenches.
Not everyone is the type that goes for meditating, but taking a break in a quiet place for a few minutes to help clear your mind is something many people can get behind. Hospitals can be a chaotic environment, taking a few minutes to decompress from all the stress that builds up over a day can help restore your focus.
Read a book.
If meditating or sitting in quiet thought isn’t your cup of tea, try reading a book. Reading helps you slow down, unwind, and shift your focus. It’s not so much about how you give yourself a little mental rest, it’s just that you do it.
While squeezing in a quick yoga session would be ideal, it may not always be practical. When it isn’t. just doing some simple stretching exercises will help relieve some tension by loosening up your body.
Spend it with a friend.
There is something special about spending time with a friend. If nothing else on this list appeals to you, a quick gab session talking about anything but work has been shown to relieve tension and have a positive effect on your health.
Following these tips can help you feel better, work better, and get the most out of each day.