There are healthier ways to make use of your office breaktime than simply engaging in small talk with friends and colleagues. While small talk can help you improve your social relationships, it does, however, drain you of the much-needed energy that should be used to last the rest of the day.

Here are some healthy ways to make use of that precious time we call lunch break.

1. Eat the Right Food at the Right Time

An hour before your lunch break, you will already feel exhausted, like all of your energy has been sapped off of you. What experts recommend is to prepare your own lunch rather than going out to eat at the cafeteria or perhaps even a restaurant a few blocks away.

The queue in these establishments will take a significant portion of your lunch break. Instead of enjoying your meal you’ll be rushing; unless, of course you have a 2-hour breaktime.

Preparing your own lunch will give you the power to choose the right foods. Go for brain-boosting foods as office afternoons are typically characterized by sluggish mental faculties.

You’ll need the cognitive functioning-boosting effects of DHA in fish, the antioxidants of nuts and seeds, the energising effects of dark chocolate, the gut-friendly fibres of whole grains, and the cholesterol-lowering properties of avocado.

You might even want to throw in carrots and blueberries for additional benefits for your brain in the afternoon.

2. Allot a No-gadgets Period 

Most folks today use the office breaktime to catch up on their social life. They update their Facebook posts, like some tweets, or even post some comments on other social media network sites.

For some, this is the time of day that they get to call their friends and loved ones, check in at home, or do a lot of other things with their gadgets.

Why not really spend the breaktime for its intended purpose – to have a break? So, after meals, allot 10 to 15 minutes of no-gadgets.

Simply sit down. Close your eyes. And think of nothing else. If you can will your mind not to think of anything, then that would be best. Accessing your gadgets makes your brain work, too. Your brain also needs a break.

3. Try a 15-minute Meditation

You don’t need in a spa to meditate. You only need to dim the lights in your office, shut the door, and try to meditate. Try playing some soothing music to help you relax.

Some actually listen to some meditative media to help them relax. This will help you manage your stress levels which typically reach their peak in the afternoon.

This lowers blood pressure and helps improve the quality of your sleep when you go to bed later in the night. Overall, you’ll feel more relaxed and energised to face the challenges that the rest of the day may have in store for you.

4. Take a 15-minute Nap

Did you know that the human body is actually programmed to take a nap in the afternoon as a means of recharging its nerve cells? Science has actually determined this time to be at around 2 in the afternoon when there is a significant dip in one’s energy.

So, if you happen to have a rather late office breaktime, why not take this opportunity to recharge your brain and body by taking a 15-minute nap.

This excludes the 5 minutes it would take you from a still-drowsy fellow to a fully awake individual. Science shows that a 15-minute nap can substantially improve your afternoon memory.

5. Stretch Those Muscles 

Don’t wait until you get home to exercise. Lunch breaks can be the perfect opportunity to stretch those muscles especially if you’ve been sitting and glued in front of your computer screen for the past 4 hours or so.

Take a walk on a desk treadmill, perform shoulder and back exercises. Whatever you do, now is the time to shake up those knotted muscles and help improve oxygen delivery to the rest of your body especially the brain.

Plus, you’ll feel good about everything else because of the surge of naturally occurring endorphins stimulated by exercise.

It’s time to look at the office lunch break as a great opportunity to recharge our bodies and our minds to achieve greater things. Eating a healthy lunch, shutting off gadgets, meditating, taking a nap, and stretching our muscles can all help improve the way we remain productive for the rest of the day.