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The Importance of the Mid-Day Lunch Break

Get some food and give your brain a minute to catch up.

Recently, we discussed work-at-home burnout, but there’s something we neglected to touch on: lunch breaks. In most workplaces, lunch breaks are a little more strictly regimented; you get a specific allotment of time, you can only go so far from the office (if you can leave at all), and generally, there’s not much you can do besides eat quickly and get back to work. When you’re working from home, though, things get a little more muddled.

At first glance, a self-imposed and regulated lunch break sounds great, right? There’s no one standing over your shoulder and demanding you get back to work. But when the lunch break isn’t an explicitly scheduled part of your day, you may feel tempted to just skip it wholesale. If you work through lunch, you can get work done faster, and then get back to that fun stuff that’s sitting right in the corner of your room, taunting you. But let me tell you, you should always take a proper lunch break. It doesn’t have to be a strictly regimented one, but you definitely need to take one.

If you don’t eat lunch during the day, your brain’s going to miss out on important sugars and calories that will keep it chugging merrily along. Work is just going to become harder later in the day if you’re already exhausted. You shouldn’t eat while working either; you need to take a proper break and stand up from your desk. The upshot of more free-form breaks is that in addition to stretching and replenishing, you can also go do something else for a few minutes. Do some light stretching, get a load of laundry going, or just watch cartoons for a few minutes. Anything that isn’t work will help to refresh you. Just remember that you are still on the clock, so don’t get too invested in leisure.

When you’re working from home, you need to be able to establish your own rules and boundaries. Make sure to keep your health in mind while still getting all of your work done. As with everything else in life, balance is the key.

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