Reclaim Your Lunch Break

6 ways to use your lunch break to improve your relationships

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Instead of working through your lunch hour or getting sucked into a social media black hole, use this important break in your day to show a loved one that you care. Afterwards, you’ll return to work feeling refreshed, accomplished and more connected to friends and family. Below, we’ve put together a few ideas to get you started.

Phone your mum

However often you speak to your mum at the moment, we’re willing to bet that she wishes you would call more often. So next time you’re out for a lunchtime stroll, try dropping her a line to tell her how your day is going - we’re sure she’ll be thrilled to hear from you.

Pen a handwritten note

While digital communications are quick, efficient and free, sometimes only a handwritten note will do. We’re thinking in particular about birthday cards, thank you notes and the occasional handwritten letter. To avoid any excuses, try keeping a stash of beautiful cards and some stamps in your desk drawer, along with an address book for friends and family, so that you can surprise them with a handwritten delivery when you next feel the urge.

Reply to any forgotten texts

When your inbox gets out of control and your to do list becomes overwhelming, it’s easy to forget about those quick messages from friends suggesting that you meet for dinner or go out for drinks after work when you’re next free. One day a week, try dedicating a lunch hour to catching up on any messages that have slipped through the gaps - and if you’re telling yourself that you can’t because you feel busy and overworked, an honest catch up with a friend is probably exactly what you need.

Meet someone for lunch

Instead of spending your whole day at your desk, take some time to arrange a lunch away from the office with a friend or workmate. The chance to get away for an hour will most likely leave you feeling more refreshed and better able to tackle the tasks you have lined up for the afternoon, and seeing a friend or connecting with a workmate on a personal level will give you a happiness boost.

Write emails to friends in far flung destinations

If there’s someone you haven’t seen in ages because they changed jobs or moved away, don’t just check their Facebook page to see what they’ve been up to lately - instead, actually write them a message, share a bit of your news and ask them what’s going on in their life. It’s far more satisfying to hear their news directly than it is to see the highlights unfold in your newsfeed, and you’ll have a better chance of maintaining your friendship as time goes on if you make the effort to contact them directly.

Write a gratitude list

In the face of everyday work stress and office politics, it can be easy to forget all the great things we have in our lives. To refocus your mind on the good, try writing a short gratitude list during your lunch hour - noting what or who has made you happy today and why. Focussing on the best bits of life will improve your mood and your interactions with others, both at work and at home.

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