12 Creative Ways to Spice Up Your Boring Lunch Break
What does an average lunch break sound like to you?
Munching on boring bits of white sandwich bread while you watch a YouTube video on your smartphone?
Catch the latest gossip news from your work buddy on how the hottest romantic couple in your office just broke up?
Many share this grim fate of a boring lunch break while making small-talk with our coworkers.
But what if we told you that your lunch hour could be just as exciting as a lavish holiday trip to an exotic location?
Alright, we exaggerated the last bit, but we guarantee that lunch breaks don’t have to be a lonely affair.
In fact, using these 12 creative ways, you’ll always look forward to your lunch hour breaks to come up with exciting things to do.
12 EXCEPTIONAL LUNCH BREAK TRENDS TO FOLLOW IN THE WORKPLACE
1. Mini Games with Your Co-Workers
“United We Stand, Divided We Fall.” That’s pretty much the motto of any team building atmosphere.
Uniting your co-workers together for a round of fun games helps you connect better and makes lunchtime an exciting affair for everyone.
Introduce your co-workers to a new way of experiencing an exciting lunch each day.
Here are 3 team building games to have fun with your office mates.
Truth or Lies
It’s a spin-off of the much popular “Truth or Dare” but instead of being bold you just ask fun questions to your office mates and watch as they spill out the beans.
To play the game, first, invite all interested colleagues to form a circle over at the lunch table and while they are munching on their food explain the rules which are as below.
- Each participant will say a short story no longer than 50-words and not exceeding 30 seconds
- Once the story is completed, the rest of the table needs to guess if the story was true or a lie
- Each person gets one chance and those who guess correctly get a point each
- After tallying exactly who got the most points at the end of the lunch break
- The winner is named
- If the game gets popular, consider adding a small prize like a free snack or lunch for the winner
This game gets people talking and chatting and especially invites the shy coworkers who never talk due to fear of social anxiety to participate in the fun.
This way you can entertain everyone in the office while boosting the morale of your office mates.
Name the Song Track
If your office mates love music, then this game is sure to strike their creative chords. The rules of this game are simple
- Using your smartphone’s speaker, play a song from a random genre and see if anyone guesses the song.
- The first person to guess the song right gets a point
- Remember to pay attention to when they shout out the name of the correct song to judge the winner
- You can play the sample track for 4-to-6 seconds for the best way to keep them guessing
With this game, you’ll have a wide understanding of the various music tastes of your office mates.
Don’t reuse songs from the same genre and instead spread out various genres like — pop, synth, metal, trance, jazz, D&B, etc.
To spice up the fun, you can even create teams of 3-5 members.
This popular social-media challenge went viral and was the craze of the internet.
The basic concept was to remain motionless in a position mimicking the posture of a mannequin.
Instead of filming the entire office, be the host and tell them that the moment you yell out the word “MANNEQUIN”, everyone must remain motionless and even a slight hint of movement disqualifies the person.
Perform the game each time until there is only one participant remaining who will be adjudged the winner of the mannequin challenge.
This game is extremely fun and will bring out the creative side out of your colleagues.
Watch as you find yourself laughing uncontrollably when you catch one of your office mates in a strange pose while they get disqualified in hilarious ways.
2. Commit to a “NoTech During Lunch-Break” Policy
Since the turn of the 21st century, our minds have been occupied with all sorts of wacky gadgets that are stuffed in our pockets.
In fact, it’s gotten to the point where we don’t leave these shiny devices even when we enter the loo. While they are an important part of our lifestyle and supplement our careers in meaningful ways, it’s important to put a stop to this tech addiction.
The best place to begin is during lunch at work.
Adopt a strict moral code and promise yourself that you’ll never use any device with a shiny screen during your breaks.
We mean no music, no staring down to take a quick peek at the latest news or checking emails.
Lunchtime will be a sacred space that you connect your soul with the food that you eat. If you feel like multi-tasking while you chew bits of nutrition down, bring a book along with you. Reading provides us with greater concentration skills.
Here are some pointers to help you end your addictive date with your smart devices –
- Switch off your phone and put it inside your desk’s drawer. Notifications tend to distract us, and we usually ferry our phones with us to our lunchroom
- Remember to practice discipline during lunch. Restrict yourself from playing games or even listening to music. Just listen to the chaos of your natural environment
- Keep 5 minutes to phone management tasks post your lunch. With self-control on the usage of your smart devices, you’ll learn to unwind and relax much easier throughout the day.
- Our brains are wired to answer any call upon seeing our phone screen light up. Ensure you keep your phone on silent mode even while working, this motivates you to have a silent lunch without distractions
Refraining ourselves from using technology helps us resist the addiction to our devices.
It’s often good to take note that these devices were made to assist us and not take over our lives.
By following your rules, you can spread the positive message to a colleague or two and help them see the difference of a normal verbal conversation instead of a texted one.
3. Learning a Foreign Language
Wait! An ENTIRE LANGUAGE course during lunch? That’s….just…impossible…
While these are your very thoughts upon reading the title, let’s elaborate further on how this feat is achievable.
By learning a language, we don’t mean you’ll become a linguistic genius at French within a month’s time or achieve native proficiency in Spanish in no time.
According to the FSI, (The US Foreign Service Institute) it takes an individual roughly 480 hours of learning time to be affiliated with basic fluency of any of the Group 1 languages such as French, Portuguese, Romanian, Italian, Spanish, etc.
Basic fluency of a language means being able to communicate with locals and gather any information that you may desire without the need of hiring a translator.
Keeping this in mind, let’s look at the time required – 480 hours. Let’s say you’ve got 45 minutes to an hour every day for your lunch break.
You’ll roughly need 2 years to reach basic fluency in the language that you desire by committing to it.
And just how do you do it?
Simply by listening to an audio podcast or by reading a beginner’s language tutorial book.
You could also carry a dictionary that translates words from English to your preferred foreign language.
This way you can challenge yourself to learn 10 new words at lunch every day.
That’s about 60 new words in a week and around 240 words a month summing to around 3000 words a year. The little numbers surely add up over time.
Another cool way to learn the language is by listening to songs and practicing pronouncing the words as they sound.
You can play foreign songs during your lunch break and note down certain words, eventually, challenge yourself to translate an entire song into English in a single week.
These short challenges will give you clarity over the language.
The next time you hear these words spoken, you’ll have no problems identifying the language without outside help.
This is especially useful if you travel a lot during your holidays.
Let’s say you’re traveling on a trip to Spain and would like to know basic words on how to communicate with the locals.
Simply create a list of high-frequency words in English that you’ll be using during your trip.
For example – Hello, Thanks, Where, Train, Flight, Pub, Lodging, Transport, Currency, Left, Right, Straight, Back etc.
Now, during your lunch break, simply translate these words into their respective local words and you’ll have a much easier time during your holiday trip to communicate with the locals and you’ll feel smarter to have learned all of these during your boring lunch break.
4. Reading News or Articles About Your Job Role
Being informed is a key trait if you want to be at your career best.
Simple bits of information available on the internet reveal ample job opportunities and provide insight into improving your job role for your company.
All this can be done while having your lunch, every single day.
For example, by clicking this article you’ve just found yourself ways to spice up your boring lunch break, so you’ll never have to simply munch food and have a staring contest with your phone all the time.
By reading this, you were able to acquire information on how to distract yourself and learning a new thing or two.
Similarly, by reading news related to your job field, you’ll gain plenty of resources and tools which you weren’t aware of to ease your daily tasks.
Let’s say you are a digital marketing specialist.
By learning the existence of an app such as Mail Chimp, you’ve just learned a new way in reducing your workload when it comes to organizing your mailing list.
Likewise, if you had learned about Idio, you’d have a much easier time interacting with your social media audience.
For every new tool or news, you learn relating to your profession, you absorb knowledge and become much smarter.
You’ll be at the forefront of updated trends and be the person in the office that everyone turns to for advice.
Being reliable gains you the attention of your superiors and you’ll be a valuable worker for your company.
This puts you in a position to gain advancements in your career and accept role responsibilities. You’ll also be bumped up the salary ranks.
All these free perks just because you decided to change up your lunch habits and gain wisdom in learning something new for your profession.
5. Creating a “To-do” List
Now, this might sound simple, but it’s surprising just how many people refuse to organize their lives and usually end up procrastinating their daily chores.
Now imagine if there was a magic yellow pad that just reminded you of all the pending tasks that you wanted to get done.
By the time you get home, you’re in no mood to sit down on your desk and create a high priority/low priority list, you just want some relaxing time for yourself and if only there was a way you could somehow squeeze this during your work hours.
That’s when the lights start to shine brightly in your head. Of course, the lunchtime!
Your lunch break is a great way to spend time writing down all the tasks that you’ve kept away. Here is all the stuff you can do with your notepad and pen.
- Create a priority-based list. High priority tasks go on top, low priority goes down.
- Create a bucket list of all the things you want to do before you die
- Create a travel list to ensure you don’t forget to pack the all-important sunscreen or woolen gloves.
- Create a networking list. Ensure you find time to communicate with all your colleagues and important clients.
- Create a performance sheet. Find out why you’ve been lagging behind other star performers by listing your personal flaws.
- Create a chore list. Remember to clean your home or work desk.
- Create a shopping list. For products that you absolutely need for your home.
There’s just about a list for everything to go by and you’ll have a fun time coming up with new lists to organize your daily life.
Always categorize your lists and don’t just put them into one messy long list.
Once you’ve got all the lists, go ahead and break down each high priority task into milestones to achieve them easier.
Remember to use short forms and get to the point when creating lists such as “Reserve Movie tickets” or “Buy Milk”.
Don’t unnecessarily elongate words. Lists need to be simple to read and easier for you to absorb the information instantly.
6. Schedule a Shopping Trip
Don’t mistake us when we say the term “Shopping trip”.
A lunch break isn’t an excuse to splurge your hard-earned money at the mall.
What we do mean is you can ideally pick up your monthly groceries or have a relaxing time at the spa to rejuvenate those tired nerves and sore eyes.
You could also have a fun time with a colleague munching a bite or two at the food court.
By shopping during your lunch break, you’ll skip the rush hour and enjoy a peaceful time shopping from the aisles.
You’ll also get some fresh air when you leave the office and get some much-needed walking done.
In fact, we suggest window shopping if you’re on a tight budget for the month.
It doesn’t cost a cent, but it surely excites you to know the new and upcoming trends that you’ll be splurging your upcoming salary on.
Going to a mall for lunch also breaks the monotonous routine of having your lunch at the same office cafeteria every day.
You’ll feel refreshed just knowing that you’ve taken a small little adventure during your office hours.
7. Headout for a Stroll at a Nearby Park
According to a team of researchers at the British Journal of Sports Medicine, a simple stroll through a park depletes built up mental fatigue of employees.
The constant stress and the noise from your office usually cause us all to reach our breaking point.
Hence, it’s a good idea to schedule having lunch at a park bench while admiring the whistling sounds of birds amidst nature.
According to another study in 2016, the body activates its restorative conditions when its away from urbanization.
A walk on the beach, a stroll through the park, or a simple day out in the mountains is considered to activate your healing process.
The study also says the healing powers are higher when there isn’t any use of tech devices such as smartphones or tablets as these keep our mind connected to our workflow.
Do your brain a favor and give it some much-needed rest during a lunch break, you’ll notice that you’ll reduce work-based anxiety levels and deal with mood disorders much better than your colleagues who spend their lunch break in the office.
8. DIY Projects
Do-it-yourself projects are a great way to get creative and introduce yourself with fun backyard projects.
We’ve listed some DIY projects that you can complete in less than an hour or by the end of your lunch break.
Not only will you be looking forward to your lunch break every day to create something new, but you’ll also find an interactive hobby and impress your work colleagues into following you.
So, without further ado, here are some projects to keep yourself busy with during lunch.
Non-wax Candle Making
Scented candles are aromatic and fill your home with various and subtle fragrances.
Creating candles at work isn’t hard and you’ll easily create 2-3 candles every day at work.
The different flavors include rosemary, citronella, peppermint, lavender, lemongrass, etc.
Traditionally, candles are usually made with wax but since we want to make a faster non-wax version of scented candles, we’ll introduce you to citrus candle making.
- First, we need a citrus fruit. Orange, Tangerine, or Sweet Lime will do.
- Cut the fruit in 2 equal halves at the center
- Gently remove the fruit pulp, leaving only the center portion intact
- You can eat the pulp as part of your lunch break diet
- Pour olive oil into the outer shell and the central portion of the fruit
- The central root portion will serve as the wick of the candle
- Once you’ve placed the olive oil and layered the shell with it
- The candle is ready to be lit and it will give out an aromatic citrus smell
To get a detailed pictorial guide on how to create it, click this link.
If you love flowers, we will show you how to create a vase out of pencils. All you need are:
- About 20 pencils
- A ribbon
- A piece of string coil
- A plastic holder
Align all the pencils around the outer portion of a round plastic holder.
Using the string tie the pencils around the circumference of the plastic holder so you get a nice rounded shape with all the pencils sticking together.
Now tie a bright piece of ribbon across the pencils and Voila! Your flower vase is complete.
You can experiment with various designs and you can create this self-made pencil vase with less than $5-dollars’ worth of items. For a detailed picture guide, you can refer to HomeTalk.
Illuminating LED Plastic Bottles
One of the best ways to recycle plastic water bottles is by converting them into art pieces for your home. This DIY project can be done in less than 45 minutes and you’ll be creating various designs once you get the gist of it.
CRAZY DIY Science has a video here to demonstrate how easily you can create your own DIY lamps using nothing but a plain water bottle or plastic bottle, a few wires, a needle, and a headlamp.
The Mastermind uses water bottles to create a vivid blinking effect that can be done during your lunch break with simple tools.
Many of these lamp-based lights can also be sold on sites like Etsy, eBay, Amazon and other popular shopping sites for a profit.
9. Volunteer and Brighten Someone’s Day
Imagine bringing a smile to someone’s face every day of your life without having to postpone your work. Your lunch break can be put to better use after you’ve had your quick meal.
Head out to a nearby community center in the vicinity and sign up for 30-minutes of volunteer service.
This could mean distributing food to the homeless, teaching basic language skills to the homeless, initiating them with the programs and their rights by holding a 30-minute speech, or also be a role model to a college student and provide them with much-needed tips.
If there are no community centers in your vicinity, get a community group going in your office and get as many volunteers as you can.
Simply removing the trash off the streets in your immediate vicinity will help keep the streets clean and you can also initiate an environment drive for people on the disadvantages of littering.
You can begin to save the planet one street at a time just during your lunch break.
Your efforts will surely strike a chord with your office superiors and they will recognize you for your sincere environmental efforts and will also pledge in keeping the planet green and plastic free.
There are tons of ways for you to volunteer in just 30 minutes to make a difference for your city and the planet.
10. Karaoke with Your Friends
If you consider yourself a singing genius, then grab a few colleagues from work and head on over to a karaoke bar near you.
Find out the timings of all the local bars hosting karaoke around your workplace and make sure to signup beforehand with the local DJ. This way you’ll waste no time in having to wait for your turn.
If you want to move it up one notch, you can start a music band with your office colleagues.
All you need is to rent a studio space nearby and you can practice musical instruments with your office mates. If everything moves according to plan, consider auditioning your band with local music events after work.
Your lunch hour can be the beginning of a new creative career for you.
Many bars understand the requirements for professionals to unwind during a stressful afternoon and host various musical events such as karaoke and other talent shows.
Check up your local events guide to understand just how you can be a part of them.
11. Lunch Roulette
A “Lunch Roulette” is where you exchange your lunch boxes with a random colleague every day and this opens various conversational topics among your fellow coworkers.
This is a great icebreaker when you’ve just joined a new company and would like to get to know your fellow employees better.
Simply introduce yourself and ask if they are willing to exchange their lunchbox with yours.
At first, you’ll be treated to surprised looks but soon people would be willing to try, you’ll have a great time understanding your food habits and how similar or unique people are.
This is especially useful to get shy coworkers to open themselves up and create a professional bond.
The “Lunch Roulette” is also a great way to try out different delicacies but pay special attention to individuals that are particular about the food they eat like people that eat only vegetarian food.
You’ll need to be sensitive to their food choices and exchange only if they are willing to.
12. Work Out a Sweat
Hitting the gym during your lunch hour allows you to work up a sweat and disperse all the mental fatigue. For this, enroll at a nearby gym and bring your workout clothes.
Ensure, you have your meal post your workout to ensure your nutrition is better absorbed after physical activity.
All gyms have showers, so you’ll be back to the office looking fresh as daisies and your colleagues will be surprised at your youthful glow and slim physique.
Here are some ideas on how to dispense 30 minutes of lunchtime in the gym.
- 30 minutes of intense rowing
- 30 minutes of stationary biking
- 30 minutes on the treadmill
- 30 minute of high-intensity interval training
- 30 minutes of light weight training
- 30 minutes of aerobic workout
- 30 minutes of CrossFit training
You can also use a combination by splitting 2 exercises of the above into 15-minute intervals for a change.
The advantage of hitting the gym during your lunchtime is that you’ll have the entire day to yourself while saving time.
BONUS: GET YOURSELF A POWER NAP TO RECHARGE YOURSELF
Power Napping is a term used where we sleep for a short period of time just enough to gain instant revitalization. Power napping allows us to recover our energy to get rid of fatigue temporarily.
The benefits of a power nap include –
- Increases our overall alertness and productivity
- Improves memory and wakefulness
- Prevents mental fatigue from building up
- Boosts overall testosterone
- Elevates our overall mood
Getting a power nap during our lunch break is a great way to double your overall energy in just 30 minutes.
To nap successfully, keep your alarm at a count of 20-to-25 minutes from the time you close your eyes.
This ensures you don’t enter deep sleep and wake up feeling groggy which is also known as “Sleep Inertia”.
A power nap is often a great way to catch a nap when we haven’t had a quality sleep the night before.
Research has shown that people that gain upwards of 6 minutes to 30 minutes of power nap perform functions better than someone who is suffering from fatigue.
The study shows that the brain of a power napper has increased activity when compared to that of a tired person.
Hence, sometimes the best thing to do during your lunch break is to bring your eye masks and get in some quality shut-eye to ensure you don’t feel tired the rest of the day.
Here’s a video of Dr. Oz explaining the benefits of a power nap and the right way to do it.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON LUNCH TIME CREATIVITY
While many people prefer to open their lunch boxes and browse through their favorite Netflix shows, you’ll have creative things planned during a simple 30-to-40-minute lunch break.
Being extra creative with your lunch breaks allows you to get more stuff done than just having your meal.
At the end of the day, you’ll need to take the first step in trying out the many methods listed here before you find out what works best for you.
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