Whether you're lucky to squeeze in ten minutes for lunch, or you get three hours thanks to the split shifts you're on, there's something to be said for maximising what you can get out of that precious break in the middle of the day.
Many of us use it to scroll through our social media feeds, watch silly animal videos on YouTube, or even get ahead with work. We're not saying that any of those are a bad use of time, just that there might be a better one!
These games can all help to give your brain that midday pick-me-up, which can be really helpful for the remainder of your shift. If your brain needs a boost, then try out one of these options.
Give your brain a workout with these games.
Playing poker online is a great way to give your mental muscles a flex. Knowing your hand rankings is a bit of a test but being able to play well at the speed required is a further challenge. Card games like this are a good place to start off because you can progress in stages.
If you've never played poker before then simply learning the rules will give your brain a little bit of a workout. Once you've got the rules down you can start learning more and more about the math and strategies behind the more complex bits of the game.
As your knowledge of the game grows, you'll see it evolve into something even more interesting. The other bonus with this game is that a round can be over in minutes, so even those of you with ten-minute lunch breaks should be able to squeeze in a game or two.
Pokémon Go is a guilty pleasure for more people than you might imagine – unless you're one of them, in which case you'll already know about it! The good news is that whilst this game might not seem like a brain workout, it could still have a beneficial effect on your state of mind.
Getting outside for a walk is a really good way to reset your brain and ready it for an afternoon of work. We benefit so much from breathing in fresh air, but we also benefit hugely from moving.
If you've got a stationary desk job, then it's so important to have a quick leg stretch as often as possible. Pokémon Go might just be the thing that encourages you to do it. After all, who knows what legendary creatures might be lurking at the end of the road?
Chess is a big favourite amongst brain-boxes and for good reason; like poker, it evolves as you learn. If you've never played chess before then this app will guide you through it step by step. You'll find out what all of the pieces are and how they move, before learning a few opening plays.
Learning might seem like its taxing on the brain, but if we get into the habit of it then it quickly becomes a pleasure instead of a chore, and we look for opportunities to learn in other aspects of our lives.
Kick off your learning habit with a game of chess and before long you'll start working your way up the ranks. It's great to achieve successes, especially in a game as popular as chess, where the level of competition can be quite high.
If chess just doesn't appeal to you then another game that's very popular with brainy people is Sudoku. This game requires not just a mathematical mind, but a good memory too. For those who've never played before, the aim is simple.
You have a series of 9 different 3×3 squares, all joined together to form one large square. In each 3×3 you can have the numbers 1 through 9 and in each large column and row you must have these numbers as well.
The numbers can't repeat in either the squares or the rows and columns. It sounds easy, but it can be fiendishly difficult.