London can be a busy and hectic place at times. Feeling overwhelmed by the stresses of work, social life and earning enough to get by can often seem like a bit of a slog.
To combat this, we are further sold overpriced yoga sessions, smoothies with 15 ingredients you never even realised existed, and “life coaching” sold to you by a 20-year-old coach who has the life experience of my pet goldfish.
The good news is there are some things you can do (that cost £0) to help alleviate the stresses of daily life. Below are 5 key tips to improving your health, wellbeing and generally surviving the rat race.
Ollie is a Personal Trainer who has a background in the Health and Wellbeing Industry. He is passionate about getting people fitter and healthier and currently works out of a PT studio in London Fields.
We are constantly fed the idea we need to be moving at 100 miles an hour. Slow down — on your commute, and on your lunch break. Slow down and take time to appreciate your surroundings.
London is an amazing city, but we rarely take the time to appreciate it because we are always rushing everywhere. Going slow means we get to reclaim the world around us.
Nail the commute
One way to instantly improve your quality of life is to make your commute a dream. While you can’t control the hoards of people at Canary Wharf station or the overcrowding of the northern line, a good audiobook (or physical book) or opting to walk for a few stations at rush hour can make a huge difference to your state of mind. And when things go wrong, don’t let it wind you up.
Explore new experiences
We are an information-rich, experience poor society. Explore new experiences and venture into the unknown. London has great travel links around the country so getting out and doing something new should be pretty easy.
Whether you are swimming in the Hampstead heath ponds, exploring Canterbury and its Cathedral or wine tasting in a quirky London bar, try something new. Experience new things.
Spend time in nature
Spending 10 minutes in nature can put you in a parasympathetic state (think rest and digest as a pose to fight or flight). Greenery is everywhere in London – you just sometimes have to seek it out.
Try to get out in nature daily if possible. Most people have a park near them and even a daily diversion to walk through one can be a useful tool for a sounder mind and body.
Spend time with no stimulus
We work on screens. We commute looking at screens or with music. We spend most of our lives with something (music, tv, an article, a book) stimulating us. Spending 10 minutes a day just “being” is the most under-rated wellbeing tool you can use.
Take stock of how you feel. How your days been. Are you tired? Are you happy? Exploring what you feel, why you feel it and understanding how you can change it will build a stronger connection with who you are.
As hippy-like as all this sounds, it’s worth considering why we as a species are now so unhappy, depressed and overweight. It certainly isn’t because we feel fulfilled and have a purpose — we have the power to change that. Fundamentally, we haven’t changed that much physiologically since we were roaming around in caves.
London is an amazing city, but we often don’t take advantage of the place we live and are drowned by the corporate rate race mentality. But remember, it is just a mentality though. So, if you genuinely find yourself feeling desperately unhappy, the great news is that you already have all the tools you need to change that.