The crunch on lunch

Are you too busy to eat lunch? Or maybe you’re the kind of person that likes to scroll through e-mails on your smart phone with some kind of snack in the other hand?

The era of the long lunch could well be over as people now cram as much as possible into their day – but this might not be entirely healthy.

Lunch is a great way to refuel, take a breath and recharge for the afternoon stretch, and by not allowing your mind to recover from the flurry of morning busyness you’ve just encountered, you could be making yourself less effective for the afternoon.

We all know the feeling when simple sentences are taking forever to type, and we keep checking for emails even though we only checked a couple of minutes prior. (And in case you missed my recent blog, pushing yourself too far can lead to fatigue and senseless mistakes).

These burnout signs can be kept at bay with a fulfilling lunch break. This of course doesn’t mean an epic business lunch at a fancy restaurant with a fine wine and good company! But it does mean that a short, quick break doing something that is really satisfying and fun for you is important!

Why not dedicate a part of each break to a walk around the block – you’d be amazed what a little fresh air and exercise can do for the brain.

I sometimes get so engrossed in my m.a.d.woman work, that I lose track of my mid-day mealtime. I’ve made it a resolution to make a healthy lunch a habit this year.

Working through lunch may seem like it improves your output, but it can bring you undone at the other end of the day!

  • Lesley

    Dear Melina

    I enjoyed your article and am a strong supporter of lunch breaks. II have found that often our workplace culture, or pressure to get the job done is impacting on the erosion of breaks. I have worked in offices where no once moves away from their desks to have a break, and have found it uncomfortable to get up, walk out and take a break. Personally, if I didn’t get some fresh air during the day I would go crazy!. As a manager of staff I remind staff to take their breaks. It concerns me that issues related to workplace stress will only increase if we don’t slow down on occasion, take a breath or two and reflect on what is truly important – (our sustained health and well being). If people are feeling they are under so much pressure to perform without taking a break – and those in authority expect this, it is a very sad reflection on society.

    • Hi Lesley

      Thanks so much for your great comments. I’m not sure how we evolved into a culture of people who just work, work, work without breaks. The Europeans have it sorted with their big lunch and siestas.

      Today I am making a conscious effort to stop for a break. eat without working and see what results that brings. I am sometimes guilty of working through and I want to change that!

      Here’s to a great break today, and every day…


  • Hi Melina,

    The long lunch may be gone, but the idea of connecting to someone over a meal (or even a walk) can be really valuable for your business and networking. I have found that the discussions and ideas shared in this less formal frame sometimes were profound in their effect on the business. Use your lunch productively if you cant justify taking the time for yourself, and the person you have lunch with will appreciate it.

    We hear about work-life balance – it is a great reminder to get some of the ‘balance’ back – we all do better with a break, fresh air and a chance to get away from the screen for at least a little while.

    • Hi Phil – I really like your comments! Of course I type this late at night as I try to catch up from the day… (however I did take some time out to smell the roses…well more like pull weeds but that’s another story).

      Having a break really does make a difference. I travelled overseas last week and while some of that was for work, the play time really made it feel like much longer time out. I’m now trying to work out how to get more of the leisure travel into my year.

      Enjoy your lunch breaks – sounds like you really use them well!