Best Lunch Break Activities for Nurses


Lunch may be the one point during your work day that you actually have a chance to step back and breathe for a moment. Then again, you may be one of the many who have taken up the terrible habit of working through lunch. Whether you want to take those few precious minutes to simply relax or you feel like you’ve wasted something if you’re not productive throughout that time, we’ve got some awesome lunchtime activities for any nurse to try today.

1.  Run Your Errands

At the beginning of your week, take a few minutes to make a list of all of the personal tasks you’ll need to accomplish. Things like changing the oil in your car or stopping by the store to pick up a birthday card really aren’t huge tasks, but they can accumulate into a lot of time if you try to lump them all into your day off.

Determine which of these tasks could be easily accomplished during the time you’re allotted for lunch and then do them. Try to categorize your list by the areas you have to go for each task so that you can make the most of every trip. You might just find that by the time your work week is over, you can actually enjoy your day or days off rather than running around all over town.

2.  Expand on Your Education

If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn but you just don’t seem to have the time to do it, lunch breaks offer an incredible opportunity. You might not be able to take a hands-on lab class, but you can do some independent study. Teach yourself a new language to add to your skills and resume.

If you are interested in getting a higher nursing degree, try signing up for online classes and work on your school work during your lunch break. If there’s some special certification you’d like to have, even if it doesn’t relate to nursing, go for it! You’ll keep your mind sharp, build your assets, and feel like you have truly gotten the most out of your day every single day.

3.  Veg out for a Bit

Granted, there isn’t very much immediately productive about sitting back to take a nap or watching a bit of TV, but there are benefits to it. Allowing your mind and body a few minutes to relax in between sections of your shift can help to increase or maintain your productivity throughout the work day.

Explore some of those apps you downloaded but never really got to test. Sit down for a round of online gaming adventures. Grab your Kindle and let yourself go to another world for a few minutes. Or just get somewhere cool and quiet to close your eyes for a while. You’ll come off your lunch break feeling refreshed, energized and ready to complete the day.

4.  Get Some Exercise

You may feel like you get all the exercise you need running around the doctor’s office or hospital all day, but that’s not true. There’s a difference between being busy and on your feet, and then actively elevating your heart rate for sustained periods of time.

If you have a gym nearby, you could take a short class on your lunch break or just use some of the equipment. If not, consider going for a walk outside or bringing in a mini-trampoline for the break room. You don’t have to get super sweaty if you don’t have enough time to be able to shower, but any amount of physical stimulation can work wonders to elevate your mood, energy levels and overall health.

5.  Pamper Yourself

You might not have time for a full color set during lunch, but you can definitely go ahead with that killer new haircut you want. Or perhaps you’ve been dying for a pedicure. Maybe it’s a leg wax. Whatever special treat you’ve been wanting to do for yourself but never seem to get around to it, lunch time is as good a time as any to take action.

The benefits will be the instant lift in self-image and confidence, which will provide you with a great boost to get through the rest of the day, along with being able to check one more thing off that never-ending to-do list. And just think about all of the compliments you’re going to get upon your return!

6.  Go Shopping

Lunch break may not be enough time to do intensive shopping, but you can do some pretty serious window shopping during that time. Take a stroll around and take notes of stores that have items you’d like to look at in more detail. Then when your day off comes around, you’ll know exactly where you want to go and which stores not to waste your time on.

What other ways have you found to be productive during your lunch break? Share below!

Image by by Robert S. Donovan

About the author

Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger with a passion for productivity and motivation. You can read more of her Nursing Feed posts by following her on Google+ and Twitter, or you can check out her site, for more posts!

Lisa Shriner - Aug 21, 2015

I don’t know how much time you get for lunch but while these suggestions are great ideas, they’re unrealistic for my 30 minutes. Also, you didn’t mention eating. Working 12 hour shifts does require some food intake to stay alert and productive.

Click here to add a comment

Leave a comment: