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We could all do with being a bit less stressed right? April is Stress Awareness Month so we chatted to the people who help Londoners de-stress about how they relax…

Meet Jodie Cariss, founder of The Self Space

The Self Space Jodie Cariss

"Everyday mental maintenance. The Self Team are a diverse expert team of therapists and coaches who work with you to help you 
feel more yourself."

Do you think London is a particularly stressful city?

Yes, if you let it be. It’s busy and full of seemingly high achieving people which can illicit insecurity in others. It’s a buzzing creative hub and that can feel both inspiring and threatening. It can also feel lonely and isolating which is dreadful in itself. Saying that,  I’ve been here for 22 years and I love London. I find it challenging and stimulating and also a melting pot for the most incredible stories and people. Anything is possible in London!

How can talking therapy help people in the city feel less stressed?

Acknowledging how you feel, in a safe space, can be really reassuring. Working with a therapist to organise and understand your thoughts and feelings can really help you feel in charge, which alleviates stress. Being seen and heard in therapy is validating and helps us live into our edges where feeling stressed can make us feel small. Therapy is an opportunity to release the pressure cooker of your internal self which is the letting off steam or stress.

What do you do when you feel stressed?

Gym, yoga, breathe, clean, tidy and write lists. Stress can be mobilising and energising if we use the energy in the right way. I’m action-orientated so find doing stuff is helpful for me.

What is your idea of self-care?

Connecting with friends and family and sorting my diary out to make sure I have time for the things that bring me joy. NutriBullets in the morning emailing my kids when I know I won’t see them, being kind to others and taking a moment to just wonder about them, reading and sleep. I love shopping and buying myself things. I don’t fair well with drinking too much but I like the occasional cocktail too.

Where do you go to relax in the city?

Hackney Marshes, the tram depot in Clapton and Shoreditch Nails for pampering. I also like the Olympic Park and the canals around that area for walking.

Where do you go to feel inspired?

My clients inspire me. I like to go to lovely hotels and be looked after. I really like the Soho House group for that. The theatre -  and I often go and watch school performances as my founding company is providing therapeutic support to schools. Kids remind you what it means to be human!

What makes you happy in London?

My children! My friends. A really good pisco sour in Cecconi's in Shoreditch. The smell of Le Labo perfumery in both Shoreditch and Islington. I also like sitting on the East London Line from east to south early in the morning because it’s quiet and I can get loads done.

Where do you go for quiet time?

I like to sit in Self Space late in the evenings. I run – I find it really grounds me and gives me a sense of accomplishment. Shoreditch can be really peaceful and I always find quiet in the yoga studio (I particularly like Blok). I find stillness is an internal state, which means you can take it anywhere.

Where do you go to treat yourself?

Liberty is like heaven! I also love markets and vintage shopping in places like Spitalfields and Dalston. The Mercantile in East London is an incredible boutique. I also love food: Thai, pho and finding nice small dumpling places. My neighbours The Dumplings in East London is delicious. Also, a massage at Masaj when I have time and a cake at Violets in London fields.


experiences to help destress


Joe Oliver, co-founder of LDNCBD


"The UK's first CBD boutique. LDNCBD is at the forefront of a new wave of spaces in the UK creating a new, positive culture around cannabis"


Do you think London is a particularly stressful city?

Most capital cities are stressful: add the extreme cost of living and the focus on success and you’ve got yourself a heady mix for stress.

How can CBD help people in the city feel less stressed?

I’ve personally found that taking CBD during the day for me allows me that extra moment of space between experiencing a situation and reacting to it. I think CBD will affect everyone differently.

What do you do when you feel stressed?

I meditate, I take a long walk on Hampstead Heath, take a run, do some Wim Hof breathing exercises and I clear my environment from clutter or things that I no longer use.

What is your idea of self-care?

Personally, I think it’s first about addressing a dialogue in the mind that can become stuck in a negative pattern, like that of self-depreciation or limited possibilities. Once I can be kind to myself and love my own imperfect existence, I find myself smiling and being in a happier and more loving state of mind. I practice metta, loving kindness meditation that opens my heart and allows me to energetically vibrate in a positive way.

Where do you go to relax in the city?

Hampstead Heath, it’s got an edge of wilderness which I find myself craving, so it both settles and regenerates me.

What makes you happy in London?

Happiness comes from inside. However, having the space to fulfill my ideas and creative dreams prevents a deep conflict between growth as an individual and serving this system we call civilisation. When I’m able to be creative and also make change, I find myself unlocking that happiness jar inside.

Where do you go for quiet time?

I have a beautiful apartment that I have made into my city sanctuary: it’s in a converted church and has all my art, a library of books, healthy food and the softest most welcoming bed. All of these things allow me to reside in peace and sometimes take a midday nap when I’m totally relaxing.

Where do you go to treat yourself?

I have everything I need in my normal life, but I do love giving someone else a wonderful experience or cheering up someone’s day so I find little acts of kindness make my day that much happier. It’s a treat that I’m able to do that for others. There is one treat I reserve for myself and that's the local organic shop opposite my house – they have all kinds of lovely snacks and desserts that seem to disappear quickly once I’ve bought them.

How to de-stress part 2 >>


Experiences to help de-stress

Written by Sonya Barber, author of 'East London: an Opinionated Guide' by Hoxton Mini Press, former News & Events editor at Time Out London and general woman about town.

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