What to do during your lunchbreak in Leeds?
Taking breaks throughout the working day is key for our own productivity. And wellbeing!
Try to think about those days where you didn’t take a break at all. How did you feel at the end of the day? Most likely achy in your neck and shoulders. Very likely exhausted. And probably also frustrated because the to-do list didn’t decrease despite the tremendous number of hours working. This is working hard.
What we encourage though, is working SMART to maintain a healthy life balance, high levels of productivity and your own wellbeing. And taking breaks is one of the best strategies to do so.
We’re talking regular breaks throughout the day to drink some water, stand up and walk around… but most importantly: your LUNCHBREAK! We all tend to fit more things in, to try to catch up on emails while grabbing a sandwich and a bag of crisps. But no, this is making your productivity levels even lower in the afternoon: we need a proper lunchbreak!
We need to get away from the desk, do something different, get some fresh air… that is the only way for us to come back refreshed and ready to kick off the rest of the day.
But what to do? You might be tired of queuing in front of Greggs to purchase one of the 2.5 million sausage rolls they sell every week and go back to your office eating on your own. Or eat a full pack of Jaffa cakes. We know it happens to many of us. It can be challenging to try something different every day, yet the Government Office for Science recommends to “Keep Learning” as one the 5 ways to mental wellbeing to do every day.
And we translate it into trying new things! So, we gathered for you a few ideas for lunch breaks in Leeds city centre:
Have lunch with a friend: take the time to connect with a friend who works close by or happens to be in Leeds on a specific day. Having a lovely lunch meal and great conversations will for sure make you feel energised for the rest of the day, with a big smile on your face! And smiling is a key element of wellbeing.
Learn new things about Leeds: Dr Kevin Grady offers regular lunchtime lectures in Leeds Holy Trinity Church. “Leeds in your Lunch Hour” took place last February, every Wednesday at 1:15pm, and we are looking forward to seeing them coming back to Leeds again!
Go to a concert: Leeds is the city of music, we all know this. But there are not only concerts in the evening and gigs in pubs, you can also attend music concerts over lunch, how great is this? We selected 3 options for you: - FREE 50min classical music concerts that would fit perfectly into a lunch break at Clothworkers’ Centenary Concert Hall (School of Music), Fridays at 1:05pm - The beautiful free Lunchtime Organ concerts at Leeds Townhall, Mondays at 1:05pm. - Some regular lunchtime music concerts at The Venue at Leeds College of Music
Exercise: there are plenty of yoga classes available over lunchtime, including 12:15pm class every weekday at Yoga Hero, and if you are not a yoga fan, you can head to the swimming pool, go for a run with colleagues, or just walk around the block! Just walking without doing anything else is very refreshing and great for your own wellbeing, and you might even discover new things in the streets of Leeds you never noticed before. We also love Yoga at the Museum by Lucyoga - a 45min gentle yoga class in the beautiful Leeds City Museum - and HIIT sessions at 12pm and 1pm at TRIB3 Leeds on Wellington Street.
Have a chat: Ground up Café just opened in Leeds Corn Exchange and you cannot miss it: it is right in the middle! This café is not a standard café. Yes, they serve coffee and GREAT brunch, but they also want to get over the mental health illnesses stigma. Over coffee. They will have regular lunchtime events, starting during Leeds Wellbeing Week, to get people of Leeds to meet, have a chat, and get better, together!
Have a read: head to Leeds Central Library, grab a book and read a few pages! As simple as it may sound, books have the power to take you away from your everyday reality and might be very helpful to help you relax over lunch. If you are afraid to get hooked into the book and be late back to work, put an alarm on, and lose yourself for 30 minutes! Leeds Central Library Artspace (Room 700) also organises regular crafty activities over lunchtime during the week. Another great way to use your hands, get creative and get your brain ready for the afternoon!
Have a look at art pieces: head to Leeds Art Gallery, Henry Moore Institute, the Tetley or Leeds City Museum, they are all free! Walk around in the peace of these Leeds galleries and museums, learn new things, discover artists… and go back to work with a new perspective!
To finish with, here is a little piece of advice from us: If eating at your desk during your lunch break is the current habit you have, start with one day a week. Try to commit to take a lunch break and do one activity one day a week first. Just one day. Pick up the day that would work best for your schedule so that your lunch break is more likely to happen. And do it with a colleague of yours, so that the two of you would be accountable to each other and would celebrate success together!
We’d love to know what YOU do during your lunch break too! Please share with us on Twitter using the hashtag #LeedsLunchBreak, we’d love to know!