The Biggest Lunch Break Mistakes You're Making While Working From Home

Let's cut right to the chase: the biggest lunch break mistake you can make is not to take one. Now that everyone is working remotely, the line between work life and home life has become a thin shadow of its former self and we are all scrambling to rebalance. It has been proven that taking regular breaks improves not only productivity, but mental health, too (via The New York Times). Setting some boundaries throughout your day can help you feel a little more anchored.

Kitchn suggests building healthy habits around your lunch break, so that you are sure to make it count. One quick and easy way to do this is to change your surroundings. If you've been working at the kitchen table, don't just bring a bowl of soup back to your "desk" and keep plugging away. Have your lunch in that dining room no one ever goes in, or dine al fresco if the weather is nice. Getting away from the setting you use for work will tell your brain that it's time to look around and think about other things, like the chirping of the birds, or the photos on the wall (and how that one is crooked), and do we need to paint this room again? Well, at least you're not thinking about work anymore.

Make your lunch break work for you

Another way to make the most of your lunch time is to do a little meal prep on the margins of your day. Packing a lunch like you would for work — or at least doing most of the assembly the night before — means that you'll spend less of your lunch break cooking. While you're at it, make sure your fridge and cupboard are stocked with healthy, easy snacks. But, The Skimm warns, don't snack ad nauseum just because you can. Try to eat and drink like you would if you were in the office, not like your office is in the kitchen (which it might be).

Now that you know not to work through your lunch break, why not make your lunch break work for you? Schedule a Zoom call with a friend for your lunch hour, ensuring not only that you put the expense reports down, but that you connect with a loved one in this time of social disconnect. The Muse even goes so far as to recommend starting a virtual book club, which you could probably fit into your lunch hour. Unless that starts to feel like work, in which case please head to the top of this article and begin again.