Making the most of the lunch hour can give you something to look forward to at the beginning of your workday. It can also be a great way to refocus and reenergize the remainder of your work time. Here are some tips to help you maximize your lunch break when you work from home.
No matter when you take your lunch break, a mid-workday break to eat can help refuel your body and help keep you going for the rest of the day. Stick with healthy foods that pack a powerful, nutrient-dense punch to help you power through the afternoon.
Try to stay away from the chips, chocolate, and pizza. Occasionally you can indulge in your favorite—and less healthy—foods. However, these foods can make you feel sluggish and tired, which could make it harder for you to finish the workday strong.
Get up, and get moving. You may spend hours sitting in front of a keyboard without realizing it. Even if you have a standing desk or alternate sitting and standing throughout your workday, a lunch break can be the ideal time to enjoy a sustained period of physical movement. Getting up from your desk periodically is always a good idea.
Take a Digital Break
Shut down the computer and turn off all electronic devices to separate your working self from your resting self. Consider it a mini “digital cleanse,” a brief period where you can take a tech break, even for a short time, and reconnect with yourself, nature, your surroundings—whatever you need to do to restock your energy stores.
Take a Power Nap
To be sure, napping isn’t for everyone. But taking a power nap can help you get more done in less time over the remainder of your day. A quick nap in the afternoon can make you more alert, reduce stress, and improve your cognitive functioning.
One word of caution, though. Naps should be between 15 and 30 minutes long and no longer than one hour. Anything past that, and you could enter a deeper sleep which is harder to wake up from.
Some power nap rules:
- Don’t put on your PJs, crawl back into bed, and curl up under the covers.
- Take your nap in a place where you don’t sleep at night—a sofa, day bed, or even a comfy chair.
- Close the shades, dim the light, and set a timer to keep from falling into a deep sleep.
Sit up straight, close your eyes, and breathe. Practicing mindfulness, even for just a few minutes a day, can be the equivalent of hitting the reset button. Although you can practice mindfulness in almost any space (including your desk), consider finding a quiet spot away from your workspace for a lunch-break session. Do this for at least five minutes and make sure your breathing is smooth, deep, and even.
Engage in Social Activities (When It’s Safe)
When you work from home, there’s a chance that you have more time alone.
When it’s safe, consider heading to a coffee shop or coworking space, or scheduling a lunch with friends or family members.
Take Some “Me” Time
Self-care means being in the best shape you can (mentally and physically), so you can do well for yourself and others.
Spend your lunch break pursuing a passion project or working on your favorite hobby. Or make a cup of your favorite tea or other beverage and listen to music that you love, or watch a show.
No More Desk Lunch
While eating lunch at your desk is easy to do, putting some thought and planning into how you spend your lunch break can make you a happy, healthier, and more productive remote employee.