Urban wellness is something I’m very mindful of and committed to – on a personal level and through the Herbaceous Blends brand. London might be my current home, but I’m more of a wild creature at heart. I’ve learned to adapt to my urban environment and even grown to love it. I am able to feed off the energetic pulse of the city while not letting it consume me. It wasn’t always this way, though. During my twenties, my years in London were stressful, aggravating and a battle. It took me a long time, time away from London and then a return to find an equilibrium. Along the way, I have noticed some healthy lifestyle habits and behaviours that I feel support a balanced life in the city. In this post, I’m going to write about four of these.
Find your patch within the city
One of the reasons I think I love living in the city this time around is that I have a nice “patch” to call home. I’m referring to the physical location of my home, as well as the surrounding area. Find a great patch and you’ll be inclined to spend more time in it, rather than spending a lot of time, energy and money trying to escape it. Living in the city can be alienating, giving you a sense that you’re just another anonymous urban dweller. Finding a patch can leave you feeling like you’re living in a small town. As someone who has gone through phases of frequently moving house, I know how important it is to put down roots in one spot. Also, make sure your home isn’t just a place you go to sleep, eat and do laundry. Make it your sanctuary in order to feel grounded in the city.
Move at your own pace
There are few cities that characterise the rat race better than London. You’ve only to visit Liverpool Street Station during the morning or evening rush hours to witness the frantic pace at which commuters move getting from A to B. It’s easy for an individual to get swept along by this current and take on the collective freneticism as their own. But here’s the thing: you are free to move at whatever pace you want. Don’t feel compelled to rush because that’s what everyone else is doing. Consciously walk slower, more deliberately and to your own rhythm.
Avoid nightmare areas – if you can
There is a certain amount of planning and strategy involved in cultivating healthy lifestyle habits in the city. One of these is avoiding specific areas at certain times of the day or at weekends. Oxford Circus on a Saturday afternoon. Your favourite brunch cafe on a Sunday morning. The West End during Christmas shopping season. Avoiding these areas of dense commotion will prevent you from depleting your energy reserves unnecessarily and help maintain that inner calm you’ve cultivated during yoga. If you can’t change your schedule, can you change your travel route or method of transport to make it less stressful on yourself?
Find the nature around you
One thing I’d always bemoan during my days if hating city living is the lack of nature in the city. But, on closer inspection, I came to realise just how much nature it’s possible to find in an urban environment. If you live in London, you live in one of the greenest cities in the world. No, seriously! Finding nature in the city involves locating your nearest park and also searching for any nature reserves that might lie a little way out. Finding nature is also about noticing evidence of nature all around you: everything from trees, patches of grass, plants, flowers, shrubs, rivers, streams, birds, foxes – even the sky and the moss that grows on tarmac and brickwork. Walk or cycle whenever you can and you’ll realise that you’re constantly surrounded by nature in one form or another.
If you’d like further practical tips and healthy lifestyle habits to help you survive urban living, check out our previous blog post about urban wellness. In it, we mention just how important it is to stay hydrated in the city.
Air conditioning, central heating and the faster pace of life are all very dehydrating on the body. One great way to reach your daily water intake is by upping your herbal tea consumption if you find plain water a little dull. Just ensure that you go for completely caffeine free teas as caffeine is dehydrating.
Our herbal teas are brilliant for supporting your healthy lifestyle habits. Visit our shop to view the range or download our tea guide for more information.
Do you have an urban survival strategy? Let us know about it in the comments below.