Now, “staying sane in London” might be a bit of a contradiction in terms. London is, by its very nature, insane, and that’s why we love it. If you’re living here, and if you’re reading this article, it’s probably reasonable to assume that you’re also insane.
Now, there’s nothing WRONG with being insane. All the best people are, or were, insane. Naomi Campbell. Oscar Wilde. Vanessa Feltz. Andy Warhol. Lady Lloyd. But sometimes, it’s good to have a little break from being insane. Just to take stock, and have at least a rudimentary grip on reality.
If you’d like to STAY insane though, by all means, close this tab and go out to Hampstead Heath and dance around with a bowl of fruit on your head. We’re not stopping you! But here’s our guide to staying sane, if you want it!
Never get the Bakerloo Line
The Bakerloo Line facilitates insanity more than any other line (except possibly a line of ketamine). It’s STUFFY and SMALL and RICKETY and if you’re in a certain fragile headspace, everything can feel like it’s creeping in on you like a Darren Aronofsky movie. So yeah, don’t get the Bakerloo Line, whatever you do.
Start stealing bits of fruit and veg from Tesco
Stealing from Tesco is a victimless crime, and it’s a well known fact that stealing things provides a release for mild insanity. It’s why cleptomaniacs exist.
Try not to drink for at least one night per month
Now, any more than one night would be unreasonable. We’d never dream of asking that much of you. But taking one night off from alcohol per month can make all the difference! Make it a Tuesday, nothing ever happens on a Tuesday. Sit at home, eat crisps, have a wank.
Watch Planet Earth
The popular BBC documentary Planet Earth can, briefly, assuage the crushing, pollution-choked existential dread that creeps in every day. So yeah, give that a watch.
Have a break from mad pop music
Sometimes the endless conveyor belt of ridiculous gay pop music can be the thing that drives us insane. So take a break from Britney’s incessant screeching every so often, and listen to something calming. A bit of Massive Attack perhaps, or some Portishead. Or even Pure Shores by All Saints!
Get out of the city for one weekend per month
This REALLY helps, mainly because going anywhere else in the UK makes you realize you’re actually very lucky to live in London. Everywhere else, while less stressful and less insane, is mostly completely pointless unless you’re 64 and called Maud. Notable exceptions: Manchester, Oxford, Edinburgh, Totnes, Brighton. They’re all lovely. Go to one of them if you actually want to have a good time.
Have sex as much as you want
Sex is a proven stress release, so have all the sex you want. Not MORE sex than you want though, because that can lead to more stress. If you’re having more sex than you want, you just end up feeling like a sort of…refuse truck.
Don’t do too many drugs
Now, we’re not actually sure about this, but SOME sources say, that doing less drugs (or even doing NO DRUGS AT ALL) can improve mental health and reduce anxiety. We’re not actually sure if that’s true though, it sounds highly unlikely.
Live in a place with windows
We’ve ALL read the thousands of Vice and Buzzfeed articles about renting/accommodation horror stories in London, so we don’t need to go into it, you all know how ridiculous the London housing situation is. But if you CAN, living somewhere with windows does help because daylight is one of the things that make us sane and human. Without it, we’d all turn into Gollum.
Eat Salt & Vinegar chipsticks
They’re lovely and will relax you
So that’s that! Remember – daylight, Planet Earth and absolutely NO BAKERLOO LINE, under ANY CIRCUMSTANCES