More of us eat lunch at our office desks than anywhere else, with 54% of workers resigned to snatching a quick bite over the keyboard. The luxury of a one hour lunch break seems to be out of the question for the majority of workers, so how can we make that desk-bound repast more enjoyable? A soggy sandwich and the empty carbs from a cheap and easy meal deal is not the answer.
It’s a well-known fact that we can save a lot of money over the year by bringing in lunch from home. The trick is to get into the habit of preparing it the night before, so there is no extra pressure on the morning rush hour. Leftovers such as rice or noodle dishes are often even tastier the day after. Salads are a good healthy option, with the dressing kept separate. Couscous or bulghur wheat is a great stand by. All you need to add is some boiling water to fluff it up. Then add ingredients to your liking, such as nuts and seeds, tuna, olives, herbs and spices.
Rather than eat out of a plastic tub, using a real plate, knife and fork, makes the meal time more of a ceremony. The food will taste better and it will feel more like you are having a proper meal. Clear a space, and try not to eat over a big bunch of paperwork. Allow yourself time to savour each mouthful, and try not to rush. It’s much better for your digestion that way. Remember table manners out of consideration to fellow-workers, and don’t eat noisily.
The ideal lunch break will not just re-nourish you, it will also refresh and refocus you for the afternoon ahead. This is not easy to achieve when you have barely got up from the office chair, expect perhaps to fetch a drink. Many big companies now encourage mindfulness for their employees. A 3-minute focus break during that quick lunch session can be a big help, or a short mindful walk around the office. Time may be short, but you can maximise your performance by bringing your attention to the present moment.