Snack breaks are the happiness hack you didn’t know you were missing

What is a snack break

Snack breaks are those little breaks you take throughout the day to take a moment or two to recharge and eat something healthy and nutritious to help fuel your day. This means no more slumping around waiting for the lunch hour to arrive as the hangry closes in on you. 

Not only does this prevent afternoon energy dips, but it gives you a more balanced diet throughout the day. Plus, without all of those urgent hunger pangs, you are less likely to reach for those chocolate chip cookies or other less-than-healthy food choices. 

Busy man eats snack on the go.

How long is a snack break?

Depending on how your day is structured, the average snack break can be anywhere from 10-20 minutes. It helps to figure out what timeframe works best for you so you can structure it into your day and commit to it. 

Why? Consider this. Americans are terrible about taking time away from their screens. 56% of those of you who trek to the office everyday report feeling guilty for stepping away from your desk for more than 30 minutes. 

It isn’t much easier for those who stay at home, either. Those who remain at home to take care of the kids often feel a sense of guilt for wanting to “take a break” from their kids. After all, doesn’t craving time away for self-care, time away from your beautiful children that you adore, make you a BAD PARENT? 

Oh, those dreaded two words. 

Busy mom works on a computer with children by her side.

The truth is, taking time for yourself makes you a better person in every way.  It doesn’t matter if you are a busy parent wrangling a chaotic calendar of parenting tasks or a busy entrepreneur burning the midnight oil; snack breaks are a must-have for just about anyone. They make you a happier, more productive person, ready to tackle whatever the day throws at you. 

Here is how you can maximize your time and use those snack breaks for a bit of self-care… 

Clear your head by writing down your to-do’s and worries before you begin your snack break.

It can be easy to spend your lunch hour dwelling in your gigantic to-do list. 

But whatever your calendar looks like, it isn’t helpful to spend your snack break thinking about the stressful day ahead. Ruminating over your task list and thinking about how to get it done is not relaxing. 

But how can you stop yourself from this vicious cycle? 

Woman makes a to-do list for her day.

Try jotting down the top things weighing on your mind before you begin your snack break time. That way you can know you aren’t forgetting anything, and you give yourself permission to forget about them for just a few minutes. 

That to-do list will be waiting for you when you get back.

Ditch the screen time.

Here is a startling statistic: the average U.S. adult will spend a mind-bending 44 years of their life staring at a screen. If you spend your snack break staring at your phone, answering emails, surfing Instagram, or booking yet another appointment, you are defeating the purpose of a snack break altogether. Use your snack break as a way to fight back against all that digital fatigue. This is YOU time. 

Woman sits on a bench and eats a snack.

Take time to yourself. 

Using your snack break to indulge in a chat with a co-worker or to catch up on a Facebook chat probably feels like a natural way to use your free time. After all, we crave connection, especially when we feel stressed. 

But while connecting with others is always a cool thing, consider one study from Yale. They found that workers that spent their lunch break eating with peers were as exhausted by the end of the day as those who worked straight through their lunch break.  

In other words, snack breaks might be best spent focusing on yourself. Now comes the fun part: deciding what to do with that precious time you have set aside for self-care. 

Woman plays ping pong.

Indulge in something that makes you happy. 

So you’ve put down your phone, turned off your computer, and set aside the distractions. When your life is a constant circus, the abruptness of this sudden quiet can be jarring. But this is where you can fully realize the beauty of even short snack breaks. You have this precious chunk of time to do anything you want. What will you choose? 

Woman reads a book while taking a snack break.

I knew someone who read “The Great Gatsby” in small parts over a year, ten minutes at a time. Another friend played the harmonica. You could meditate, stretch, take a walk. You could sketch, work on your golf swing, or even practice that dance move from your Friday night tango class. The possibilities are endless. Give yourself full permission to NOT finish what you start, for once. 

But as you work on mindfulness, don’t forget the core component of a great snack break. The snack itself! 

Eat a healthy “power-up” snack.

“On-the-go” snacking is all the rage right now, with trendy single-serve foods wrapped in glittering packages and full of artificial flavors. But sometimes, your favorite snacks aren’t always the healthiest. 

Imaginative snack breaks could include delicious foods like this short rib tostada with kimchi slaw from The Austin Artisan.

At The Austin Artisan, we believe food is far more than your body’s source of fuel. It should be a comforting and delightful flavor experience. Choose snacks that are wholesome, healthful, and that contribute to your body’s overall well-being. For our meal delivery clients, we often prepare snacks that include wholesome foods such as organic meats and cheeses, nuts, and seasonal vegetables and fruits. 

But again, food is not just about fuel. See if you can elevate your snack break to a mindful eating practice. Notice the nuances of flavor and appreciate the healthy ingredients in the snacks you’re eating. It sounds simple, but this simple meditation can be an incredible way to refuel and get your mind on track and back to your busy day with a bit more energy. 

A better way to eat mindfully.

Snack breaks are a great way to reclaim your day from the chaos. They allow you to take a breather from your busy schedule and indulge in a bit of self-care. 

If you find that your meals have become just another chore on your to-do list, though, we can help. At The Austin Artisan, we specialize in chef-cooked meals made by local experts who know what good food tastes like. We’re passionate about using locally sourced ingredients that are chock-full of flavor and never boring. 

You never need to reach for a box of shake-and-bake or a slow cooker recipe of mush again. Choose chef-prepared meals instead. They make for memorable mealtimes with the people you love in the midst of the chaos (and for much better lunches AND snack breaks). 

Chef-prepared meals from The Austin Artisan.

If you live in Austin or the surrounding area, we would love to create a meal plan that aligns with your lifestyle and goals. Share with us the foods you love the most and we will deliver weekly prepared meals at a frequency and taste profile level that suits your family’s specific needs.

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