No one can knock Samuel Johnson’s enthusiasm for our nation’s capital but the literary great had clearly never taken the Central Line during rush hour before. His famous quote,”When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life” is a great tagline for tourism but it fails to mention the tube delays, increasing rent prices, financial distress and too many choices at lunch, which get our blood pressure rising on a daily basis. In other words, you don’t have to be tired of life to get a bit fed up with the old smoke from time to time. Luckily the sickness is also the cure because there’s a whole array of things going on in this crazy city that will help you to de-stress, re-charge…and fall in love all over again.
1. Let your troubles float away at Floatworks…
There’s nothing quite like that holiday feeling when you’re miles away from home, floating on your back in the middle of the Mediterranean. Thanks to Floatworks, you don’t need to hop on a flight to get that same feeling of weightlessness. Floatworks has been offering floatation therapy to stressed Londoners since 1993, using specially designed floatation tanks that encourage users to disconnect from external distractions and access an inner feeling of peace. The float tank basically looks like a large, enclosed bath tub and it contains super-saturated Epsom-salt solution heated to 35 degrees. Supposedly, once you’re settled, it is almost impossible to tell which parts of your body are in the water and which aren’t, making it feel like you’re floating on air. Now that, my friend, sounds heavenly.
A 1 hour sessions costs £65, for more details and pricing information visit their website.
2. Do an 8 Week Course at The Mindfulness Project
Research into the benefits of meditation has boomed over the last few years, with JWT predicting last year that mindful living would be one of the ten trends to shape the world. But this one ain’t no fad. It has been proven that with practice, mindfulness – or learning to be present in the moment – can have unbelievable effects on your emotional wellbeing, relieving symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety, whilst improving performance at work and relationships. Like the sound of that? Check out The Mindfulness Project, London’s first dedicated space for secular meditation. Situated in a gorgeous townhouse overlooking the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens, London Mindful offers various courses both online and in-house, from Sunset Meditation for Graduates to Mindful Drawing Classes. If you’re new to meditation, they recommend you begin with one of their 8-week courses, such as the MBSR course beginning this Friday. The course includes meditation practices, gentle stretching and movement, group dialogue and discussion and even a bit of homework… But don’t let that put you off. This might just change your life.
For more information and a detailed schedule of all their available courses, check out their website.
3. Get out of London…
It sounds like an easy solution and, um, it is. So why are you still standing there?! There’s a whole array of beautiful weekend escapes all within easy reach of London – and if you book travel in advance you can get there pretty cheaply too. From Blenheim Palace to the New Forest, we’ve created a list of the most dazzling weekend escapes that aren’t much further than an hour or two from London. Because even the most die-hard London lovers need to get away from time to time. Us included.
4. Stop for a moment of silence at Drop In Silence…
Londoners craving a bit of peace and quiet after a hard week at the office can stop by for a session of silence every Friday evening at the Quaker Meeting House. Easily the quietest place in the West End, this run of weekly pop-up events encourages people to switch off from their hectic routine and enjoy the benefits of a few hours of total silence. The sessions are open to anyone and everyone – and they’re also free, which we love.
Drop-In Silence will run every Friday from 5.30pm-7.30pm, until 18 December. For more information, see their website.
5. Go for a walk
Even the biggest couch potatoes can’t deny the stress-busting benefits of exercise. Getting your legs moving releases endorphins: chemicals produced by the central nervous system and pituitary gland, they’re basically one-way tickets to happiness. They’re also totally free (unless you pay a great stonking fee for your gym membership) so venture outdoors and start making some homemade happy-drugs on many of the incredible walking routes that London has to offer. Some of them are so rural you won’t believe you’re still in the city, which is great if you’re having one of those loathe-London days.
6. Get creative at the Pottery Cafe
Is there anything more therapeutic than a bit of good old fashioned arts n crafts? The Pottery Cafe has studios in Battersea and Fulham and offers a wide selection of British pottery which you can paint in any style you want whilst enjoying a cup of expertly made coffee from Union Roasters. They also serve a range of delicious homemade cakes, cookies and little snacks in case you’re feeling a bit peckish. Perfect for kids and equally as enjoyable for adults craving a bit of childish escapism.
For more information and details of locations, see their website.
Featured Image Credit: Flickr Mike Rolls