Capitalizing on your lunch hour as often as possible is important. That doesn’t need to mean spending a ton of money or even spending a full hour of time. It does, however, mean doing more than scarfing down a PB&J at your desk. Lunch is an opportunity to give yourself a break — physically, mentally and emotionally — and energize yourself for even better work in the afternoon. You know the basics — get outside, step away from your desk, eat something healthy but delicious that will give you energy rather than bog you down. If you’re ready to take it a step further, here are some unusual methods that will rejuvenate you for the day — and possibly even week — ahead.


1. Get pampered. Grab a quick manicure, get a blowout so you’re ready for Thursday happy hour, do a half-hour massage or even get your makeup done. If any of these things is going to make you storm back into the office and be more productive with the remaining hours in the day, it is absolutely worth it.

2. Jump on a trampoline. Yes, I’m serious. Few things are as mentally freeing as jumping on a trampoline, not to mention that it will actually give you a great workout. There are indoor trampoline facilities like Sky Zone Trampoline Park all over the country, and you can pop in anytime during “open jump” hours. Any exercise is great for releasing tension and refreshing you mentally, but doing something out of the ordinary like this is particularly effective.

3. Network with someone outside your comfort zone. I know, I know, “networking” can often feel like just more work. But more often than not, it’s a fun and interesting way to step outside your day-to-day responsibilities and learn about someone else’s. Reach out to someone who has a comparable position at a similar company and compare notes, or talk to someone who works at a company where you’d like to do some freelance work. People seem to be amazed by this, but you *can* actually use LinkedIn for its purpose — connecting with other humans!

4. Unplug completely. Talk about out of the ordinary. No matter where I go for lunch I find myself surrounded by individuals scarfing down a sandwich, gyro, bowl of noodles, you name it with one hand and responding to emails with the other. You might as well have just stayed at your desk. Even if you’re not necessarily responding to work emails — say you’re playing Drop 7 — you’re not actually giving your brain a break. Staring at screens is designed to engage and stimulate your brain, and doing so for extended periods of time can strain your eyes and cause headaches. Instead, take a long walk, sit in a park and people watch or read or listen to a book. I promise you’ll feel way more refreshed afterward.

5. Go ice skating. One of the only things I like about colder weather is the increased availability of ice rinks. When I worked right next to Rockefeller Center, I could dip out during lunch and get a solid half-hour skate in, and it was absolutely glorious. Nothing but gliding around in circles, clearing my head, trying to do spins that are far outside my ability and unconsciously getting one of the best workouts ever. We can’t all be 30 Rock-adjacent, but if you have a skating rink near your office, take advantage. It will be the most rejuvenating lunch hour you’ve ever had.

6. Volunteer. Hey, you know what else is refreshing? Helping people! It also has the added benefit of forcing you to step outside your world and realize that the “crisis” at your office is actually pretty inconsequential. There are approximately one trillion ways to do this, so check out to find causes and volunteer opportunities in your area.

How do you rejuvenate during your lunch break? Share with us in the comments below.

(Photo via Getty)

This post was originally published on Levo League by Kelsey Manning.