Lunch breaks appear to be going the way of the dinosaur. Yet taking even a 15- to 20-minute break helps boost concentration and energy levels, promoting greater efficiency and creativity. A lunch break (or several smaller breaks throughout the day) helps the brain recuperate after concentrating, decision-making, problem-solving, and communicating—tasks that can cause mental fatigue.
What you do on your break matters.
Stepping away from the office to catch up on texts and phone calls may feel productive, but it’s not going to recharge your batteries. Meditative forms of relaxation are the go-to for a calmer and more balanced work day. Other proven benefits of meditation include increased immunity, enhanced emotional balance and calmness, improved concentration, increased fertility, reduced blood pressure, digestive relief, and anti-inflammatory effects. Benefits from a daily lunch break meditation accumulate over time to create an enhanced level of health.
Another break that’s highly effective is a catnap. A quick 20-minute nap can help clear your mind and rejuvenate your body. Grand Master Nan Lu explains, “I tell my patients the very best exercise is to sleep! You never see a cat exercise, do you? They just lay there, rest and sleep; they walk around, stretch their tendons, then they rest some more. Yet, they have speed and agility. Nature is the best teacher. We can learn some great secrets by paying attention to its creatures and plants. When the body relaxes, the mind will relax. When the mind relaxes, Qi can flow. Even though you are doing what appears to be nothing at the physical level, you are doing a lot at deeper levels to help the body rebalance itself. Achieving balance and harmony is the path to total health.”
Unplugging from work by meditating or taking a nap clears the mind, calms the emotions, and helps replenish your energy. It’s an effective stress buster. Lower levels of stress boost creativity and productivity, and set the stage for an all-around healthier lifestyle. So go ahead, give yourself a break!