I do not need to explain to you the excruciating pain of a bad day at work. Even when you actually love your job, you’re not immune to the curse that is just a really crap workday. Maybe you couldn’t fall asleep the night before, maybe you have a particularly large pile of tricky projects to get through, maybe you’d simply rather be on a tropical beach somewhere. Who could blame you?

For these no good, horribly rotten days, your silver lining is your lunch break. Do not ignore it! For the love of god do not skip it. Use it to your full advantage in these not-necessarily-proven-by-science ways but some of them might be ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

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avoid this.

Go Nap In The Park

Please note that I’ve kicked off with one that actually IS proven by science to make myself seem more legit, rather than someone who just really enjoys sleeping in the great outdoors.

As well as being great for a whole bunch of other health reasons, study after study has shown that a little time in nature is one heck of a mood booster and stress diffuser. And bonus benefit, several studies like this one by peeps from the University of Michigan have made it pretty clear that a little exposure to nature will also improve your memory.

If you don’t have a park nearby, I dunno, go stare at a bush for a bit?

Crank A Choon

I maintain that everybody has their ‘swagger’ song. The one that comes on and makes it literally impossible to be anything but happy/feeling much cooler than you really are? My happy song is Tay Tay’s Shake It Off, and I’m not even sorry about it. I DARE you not to jump around like a grinning fool when that song comes on.

Don’t take my word for it. According to science (there it is again) and ReachOut.com, music helps you chill out and picks your mood right up. It even helps your brain do its thing more efficiently. So shove in those headphones and pump up the jams.

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actual footage of me shaking it off.

Buy A Delish Lunch

This one is mostly just experienced based, tbh. While science does say certain foods definitely do boost your mood, I’m also just talking about those times when you’re already facing a crappy day and the only thing you have to look forward to at lunch is reheating day 4 of the plain-at-best stir-fry you made Sunday night because you’re poor and limited in cooking skills. That is hard to take.

Personally, I get out of the office and I go buy something delicious. And it makes me pretty damn happy.

Leave Your Phone In The Office

You have to be on it all day, give yourself just one tiny break in the day to disconnect. No texts, no social media, no emails. A study out of Kansas State University found that unplugging outside of work hours will help you recharge, refresh and bring back your positive vibes.

If you’re having ‘one of those days’ don’t wait until the end of the day to refocus. Get out of the office, sans technology, and get those happy feels back.

Call Your Grandma

Yes, I’m fully aware that I just told you to leave your phone behind, but I’ll make an except for this one. Sure, it’s absolutely, purely of my own creation, but goddamn it works. You may also replace ‘Grandma’ with ‘any person in your life who hypes you up’.

After even just 15 minutes of chatting to Grandma and I’m back feeling like a million bucks. She’ll spend the whole time telling me how amazing and wonderful I am, and (my personal favourite) that it’s absolutely the stupidity of boys and not my own issues that I’m single and I should absolutely “play the field“. Why is this last one relevant? It’s not but the woman is almost 90 and marriage is kind of important to that generation. Plus it cracks me up.

Trust me, your Grandma is the boost your ego/happiness deserves.

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my g-ma when i’ve successfully completed the most mediocre thing.

Get Your Sweat On

In my never-ending quest to bring you above average journalism, here’s another one absolutely heaped in scientific proof that it’ll help you get your jollies on. Exercise. The big sweat.

If you haven’t heard about all the happy mood-boosting endorphins your body releases after exercising, all I can assume is that you don’t internet well, or read, or ever talk to people. But that’s ok because now you know! The American Psychology Association also says exercise helps your body learn to cope with stress, so your next bad day won’t be as hard on you.

Working out in the park? Even better.

How To Boost Your Mood On Lunch Break When Your Workday Kinda Sucks

Image: iStock Images / [XiXinXing]