Let's be honest, London life can get on top of you from time to time. Whether it's the morning commute on a packed tube or a busy bus that gets your blood boiling, a pedantic supervisor at work, the noise, the crowds, and occasionally the smells, sometimes we need some time to let off steam, to chill out, to think about something else.
If you're looking for some ideas to give your brain a break, here are six to get you started:
Float in a tank - Lie back in a super-saturated salt solution and enjoy the feeling of simply floating. Relaxing and therapeutic for mind and body, a session in a flotation tank is a wonderful way to forget the stresses of London life. For more information and to book a session, check out Floatworks near Waterloo station.
Box - Joining a boxing club doesn't necessarily mean you want to become a boxing champ. Neither does it mean you'll be shoved unwillingly into a ring with a Wladimir Klitschko wannabe. Boxing clubs offer you the chance to get fit, to improve your concentration and coordination skills, to whack a punch-bag to your heart's content and to spar with your fellow club members. There can be few better ways to deal with all that pent up energy and stress. If you're interested, consider the Boxing Clinic, which has many locations across London. "You do not have to fight nor have any physical contact in any aspect of your boxing training unless you want to," it says on its website. "You can do this just for fun or fitness – your choice."
Bash balls - Getting a bat or club in your hand and bashing balls really gets the blood pumping. The satisfaction of hitting a ball in the sweet spot of the bat and seeing it sail off into the distance is hard to beat. So, what balls to bash? You could try your hand at hitting a bucket of balls on a driving range at Playgolf London in Harrow. The same venue has a batting cage where you can grab a bat and whack some balls fired from an American-style pitching machine. Great fun.
Meditate - Bashing balls is all well and good, but you might not want to exert yourself quite so much. Meditation is a useful way of clearing the mind and relaxing the body, and can also aid creative thinking. You can do it by yourself in the comfort of your own home, go to a one-off session with others, or join a club for regular events. You'll find a helpful webpage about the basics here, while information about a number of meditation centres in London can be found here.
Try karaoke - Belting out some of your favourite tunes in your own soundproof room with the volume up high is a great way to let off steam. There are quite a few karaoke places in London (like this one and this one) where you can shut yourself away with friends and have a good time. And when your song comes up on the screen, kick off your shoes and get dancing. You'll feel better for it.
Pick a park - One of the best things about London is its abundance of parks. When you're in need of a break from the trials and tribulation of daily life, pick a park and go for a stroll. If the weather allows, take a book, find a quiet spot on the grass and settle yourself down. And don't always choose the same park – spread your wings and take some time to explore this wonderful city….even if it does get a bit hectic from time to time.