Mindful Eating or Why the French Government Told People To Stop Eating at Their Desk

Did you know that individuals in France are not able to eat lunch at their desks? The French government said no! Now, that might surprise you, and you might start to think that the liberty, choices, and right of the individual. But there is good reasoning behind why the government said no to eating at your desk.

Sure, they modified it a little due to COVID-19 so that individuals can sit by themselves and socially distance themselves from others. But why did they even have the rule in the first place? Why did they think it was a good idea to step away from the work desk to eat?

The primary reason is that the French think that it is a good idea to take a break, stop the work, and focus on relaxation for a moment. The lunch break was supposed to provide a real break that would provide psychological benefits as well as general well-being benefits.

Research has shown that a brief pause in work and general labor can focus on rest and relaxation. The findings of various studies show that a brief pause in the middle of the day and during work hours can help to provide more productivity and better results. Further, concentrating in front of a computer screen for long periods of time without a break can be anti-productive as the routine becomes stale.

But eating at a different space or location, away from your immediate work environment, provides a wide variety of benefits. Research shows that it is not only about what we eat or drink but also about how we consume it as well. It is essential to learn about these aspects to live a meaningful, mindful, and more holistic life.

Further, in a time where there is quite a bit of uncertainty, chaos, and general instability, the right types of practices, and moments of mindfulness can provide various forms of value. Here is what you need to know about eating away from your desk to have better mental health.

Mindfulness Includes Separate Spaces for Different Activities

Many people are looking to adjust their lifestyles as they work from home. Now, work and general life take place within the home. This trend started to rise before the pandemic as people can look at screens for everything from entertainment to work. It can certainly be convenient, but it is essential to realize that while convenience is great, a change in environment and respective places for different activities provides massive psychological benefits and physical benefits. For instance, did you know that more Americans have gained weight over the pandemic? They have added a bit more than the freshman 15.

Many people did not have a work from home setup, so they merely lounged on their couches while leaving the laptop right next to them as they typed. Others would be near the kitchen, encouraging them to eat more as they sat close to snacks, beer, and other items.

Individuals would use whatever they had to tap away on their keyboards and so it wasn’t surprising that they would be compelled to go and grab a snack or two as they worked around the house. Interestingly, if you are close to the kitchen, you may find yourself getting up and getting more snacks and food items than you normally would in the office.

That proximity to the kitchen can tempt many people to indulge in more eating without them realizing what is happening. When you are working and eating, you do not really think about how much you may be eating. Further, you may not pay attention to the type of food you are eating as you would when you are in a dinner or lunch setting.

When you are eating while working, you merely eat the food and keep focusing on work while not paying attention to your system’s signals or cues to stop eating. The dinner table or lunch table offers a place where you switch the setting and the context. It is not about working or doing anything else but sitting down and eating with others. That simple change offers a whole new type of behavior and reality and regularly practicing this seemingly obvious habit can make a difference in overall lifestyles.

Pay Attention When Working From Home

When working from home, individuals can easily notice that they are merging a variety of contexts into one setting. This can be disruptive to many people’s routines and forms of separate spaces. The brain has different cues depending on overall habits and practices and if you form new unhealthy behaviors as you seek to get everything done, that can have a negative result. Further, it is an issue because it can compound over time. When working from home, you are in a different environment.

In the office environment, you usually have access to specific type of foods in the snack room or other areas. Then, you would have to go to the cafe or a restaurant nearby for more food. When at home, you can be surrounded by all types of snacks. You stay at the same place and may continue to eat to stave off boredom and other issues that you are dealing with while at home. For instance, from stress eating to other types of eating, it becomes the go-to activity to keep you going. But you can make simple changes, and one of them is remembering to eat away from your desk. Then, you can remember to get away from the desk for about 15 minutes or 30 minutes to relax regularly. This enables you to move around, stretch, and avoid other issues that occur from excessive sitting.