If you are heading back to work after a long-earned weekend and dreading the idea of another day of sitting at your desk during your regularly scheduled lunch break, you’re not alone, sis. But, before you get back into a routine of eating through lunch with a sad pre-made sandwich or frozen meal, start brainstorming some ways you can spruce up your routine for a happier and more productive you.

Now, I'll be the first to admit with a demanding schedule, it's not always possible to make time for a full lunch break, and I’m as guilty as the next person when it comes to scarfing down a meal while I’m frantically trying to make an article deadline. On those days when you can’t step away from the desk, there are small actions you can take to create a better atmosphere surrounding lunchtime, in spite of a real break.

Here are five things I have adopted into my routine when I am eating lunch at my desk. I encourage you to get out and try them too!

1. Get out of the office

There are health benefits to even a short walk around the office building to help boost productivity. Even on days when I don’t need to pop out of the office, I’ll usually join a colleague for lunch or use it as an excuse to run some errands. The fresh air and movement will help our brains fuel itself and get those endorphins are pumping.

2. Wash your hands

Seriously sis, wash those hands. Keeping our hands clean with proper hygiene practices is one of the most critical steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others at the office. Computer keyboards are especially crawling with bacteria (you wouldn't believe) and if you're right back to typing after lunch, who knows what bacteria can be transferred. Always wash or disinfect right after eating to be on the safe side.

3. Pack an exciting lunch

If you can, take the time to create an exciting and flavorful meal. Believe it or not, there are more options to pack for lunch beside a sandwich or frozen meal. This is a simple concept, but it creates a little excitement for you throughout the day. Because who wouldn't want to look forward to your work lunch with a delicious meal you have prepared for yourself? Check out Taste for some fun and inspired recipe ideas. 

4. Refill your water bottle

I am a strong advocate for staying hydrated at your desk, ladies. Keeping your water bottle filled all day will not only increase brain power and provide energy, but it will force you to take a short break and get up from your desk and get moving — and that's always a good thing!

5. Shut down those screens

I’m fully aware that this may not be a possibility, but taking just five minutes of screen-free time in the middle of your workday can only do you favors. It gives your eyes a rest, gives your brain a break and allows you the opportunity to reset and recharge. Taking this time for yourself can make a big difference for your stress levels and overall productivity at work sis, trust me.

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