You may think that you are saving time by working through that hour of the day, but it will eventually catch up with you. Your body is designed with a need for rest, and not just your physical body, but the mind as well. The lunch hour should be a mental retreat from work, not a time to squeeze in even more work. If you feel stressed, are navigating a particularly stressful or busy phase in your career or simply function better when you are mentally refreshed, keep your lunch break to what it is meant to be — a break.
Not everyone has an hour to devote to lunch, but, chances are, you have some time that you can set aside for a meal and a break. If you aren’t able to completely get away from things during your lunch break, at least attempt to treat yourself to a small, 15-30 minute escape as close to halfway through your work day as possible. Take a walk. Read a few chapters of a book. Eat your lunch in peace and quiet. Make a phone call. Go to the gym. No matter how busy you are or how much you have on your to-do list, you must protect your mental, emotional and physical well-being.
The habit of taking a real lunch break may be hard to start, but it is a worthwhile and valuable practice. You don’t have to escape to the islands or quit your job to get away, you just need an hour and commitment to a better, more productive you.