Defining the gap between “work” and “off-work” when everything occurs in the same space can be difficult. The pandemic has seen the majority of the country move to remote working and for a large portion of this, it’ll be their first long-term experience not going into the office Monday-Friday.
This makes your lunchbreak even more important as an opportunity to recharge and refresh for the second period of your day – if you can do this, you may see your mood, mental health and productivity increase.
1) Online exercise classes?
Take part through local gyms that have now had to adapt to circumstances where they cannot physically open again until the 12th of April. The guidance and motivation from an instructor may garner improved performance and even if you can’t respond back, the human interaction could be a nice moment in your day. There’s also plenty of resources on YouTube for those doing home workouts and quick Yoga; the added benefit of home working – you can always sneak back to your desk without showering afterwards!
2) Get externally creative!
Some people enjoy the opportunity to fully zone out and focus on something else. Lego and puzzles are more traditional forms of this but you could also start an art project to sink your teeth into. Knit a scarf, paint a setting or even colouring-in, these are all activities where you can put a timer on your phone, some music on in the background and fully remove yourself from work and your emails for the period.
It doesn’t have to be extreme exercise, nor does it have to be strenuous yoga but counter the effects of sitting down all day – especially with the removed commute – by doing basic stretching motions to reset the mind.
4) Do some gardening
If you have the luxury of outdoor space, use your break to take in any sunshine and get some fresh air while tending to your plants. You also have the enjoyment of getting to watch your work
grow as the days and weeks go by!
5) Prepare your dinner
We’ve all had that moment when you walk through the door after a long busy day and you just can’t be bothered to make something lovely and homemade and instead reach for the ready meal or a takeaway menu. If you take your time in your lunch hour to prepare your evening meal, you can truly switch off come closing time knowing all you’ll have to do is pop it in the oven. Only the basics will have to be completed.
6) Call a friend
Although we’ll be able to meet up with friends in small groups soon, it’s still difficult for everyone to socialise right now but with 2020, we’ve become video call pros! Set up a call with a group of friends or even colleagues to natter about anything and everything but work! The social aspect will help you turn away from your emails and feel revitalised for the afternoon.
7) Look after yourself
Use the positives of working from home to do things at lunch you couldn’t do at work! A facial for however long whilst watching the tv gives you time to look after your skin while also being a pleasantly peaceful activity. You could even experiment with different home-made remedies and come out of lockdown with a recipe you can take to your family and friends.
8) Expand your knowledge
We all have quirky outside of work interests – why not use the designated time off work to develop on that or add new strings to your bow? Many colleges and museums have been offering classes or tours online. Alternatively, how about a book on philosophy or whatever else tickles your fancy and could be the right distraction for you. The feeling of developing yourself is a natural high.
9) Get outside
Whilst we’re not quite at the ‘one outdoor exercise a day’ territory anymore it’s nice to soak up some sun when it’s out, and get the blood pumping with a good walk if the more physically demanding online exercise class idea isn’t for you. Boost your mood and replicate the walk to a station or bus stop to get your body up and ready for the afternoon.
10) A cheeky nap!
The general advice is don’t nap for more than 20 minutes but the benefits have shown to be reduced fatigue, increased alertness, improved mood and improved performance. Whilst your manager may not appreciate a 20-minute snooze at your desk in the office – use the benefits of your home. Just give yourself time to shake off the initial sleepiness before resuming work. Oh, and don’t forget to set an alarm…
And as always, at MBM Omega, we are here to provide your work from home supplies and furniture needs to kit out the home office, all of which can be delivered to you the next day.