Is Your Midday Break the Secret to Stress Relief?

Is Your Midday Break the Secret to Stress Relief?

Use these unique tips to stay relaxed and focused in the office.


For many of us, the time of day we call "lunch" hardly could be called a "break." Fifty-five percent of Americans do something other than eat during their lunch break, such as spend extra time catching up on work. And while tackling email, extra work and errands might be practical — it's usually anything but relaxing!

If you find that you're part of the working-lunch crowd, you may be missing a golden opportunity to let go of the day's stress and start the afternoon fresh. With a few midday tips, you can learn to use your lunch break to relax and become energized for the rest of the day.

Stress release can come from either activity or relaxation. Depending on your personality and the type of day you're having, you may favor one approach over the other. Give some of these tips a try during your next midday break to calm your nerves or lift your energy level.

Tips for Relaxation

  • Massage. Give yourself a hand and wrist massage. Then gently rub the back of your neck and temples. Keep your breathing slow and steady.
  • Aromatherapy. Candles smell wonderful, but not every office will allow them. You can brew an aromatic tea as a substitute.
  • Music. Use headphones and play calm music you enjoy to soothe your mood. Try something instrumental.
  • Recess. Choose a park bench or another comfortable spot away from the office. Create distance from the phone and computer, and the bustle of co-workers.

Tips for Stimulation

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  • Take it outside. Treat yourself to fresh air and outdoor light. Go for a 10-minute walk outside the office.
  • Stretch. It's a great way to get the blood circulating and release the tension that builds up from holding a particular posture (sitting at a desk, for instance).
  • Music. What songs really move you? Listen to them with headphones for a pick-me-up while you're out walking.
  • Living color. Bring in flowers from time to time for your visual and aromatic enjoyment. Why wait for a special date on the calendar?

Make me-time your lunchtime priority. 

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