Get your zen on and survive rush-hour in the city
Living in a big city will, on occasion, stress out even the most relaxed amongst us. Numerous studies have pointed out that urban living raises the risk of anxiety and mood disorders and while escaping to the country is one drastic option, trading cleaner air for a much longer commute, remains merely a pipe dream. Anyway, what’s that saying about learning to dance in the rain? There are ways to manage the intensity of co-habiting with 8.8 million people.
Meditation is brilliant, as an educated BALANCE reader, you know that. The trouble, for me at least, is I’m rubbish at it. Some of us just need a little extra help getting into the switching off space, which is why I was intrigued by Soul Medicine, a new series of ‘vibration based’ treatments.
Developed by ilā beauty founder Denise Leicester and Dr Zulia Frost, they spent over a decade working on a series of meditative pieces set to 432Hz, the frequency that resonates most often in nature and natural surroundings. Sounds suitably new-age, but in clinical tests, listeners experienced increased white blood cell activity and red blood cell circulation and decreased cellular stress.
When I finally heard it, the mental checklist kept butting in, as did the urge to fidget in my seat, but after the session, I felt lighter, more clear-headed, more able to focus without being pulled in a multitude of directions. My inner city cynic wanted to eye-roll, but honestly, it worked like an aural hug. I’ve downloaded the music, I just need to listen to it at bedtime instead of pointlessly scrolling through the usual apps.
If you’re looking for a little more traditional in your alternative route to relaxation, I’ve found aromatherapy to be a powerful piece of self-care kit, and it needn’t be limited to pillow spray and bath oil. Anatomē, Brendan Murdock’s new health and nutrition store on Charlotte Road, Shoreditch, has a specific line of therapeutic oils to soothe stressful lifestyles and promote sleep and focus. The Support + Protection oil has antibacterial properties from key ingredients; eucalyptus, clove bud and fennel. They reduce feelings of anxiety: it’s my secret remedy for tolerating the commute.