Birmingham may have an awful lot going for it, but there’s clearly still a long way to go. A nationwide survey in 2017 of the biggest cities in the UK revealed that after the capital, Birmingham’s residents are the most stressed-out in the country. The study said this could be because Brummies work much higher amounts of overtime than most other Brits, while also dealing with longer commutes and higher living costs.
That London came out on top is hardly a surprise, but the fact that Birmingham is one of the most stressed-out and overworked places in the country might come as a shock to some. And things do seem to be improving, if you look at alternative data for 2018. But if you’re in Birmingham and you’re feeling the pain, here’s how you can chill out and de-stress.
Fortunately, there is no shortage of places for Brummies to go and get some much-needed R&R. For a start, there are dozens of highly rated and award-winning spas across the city. Try out the uber-hip wellness experience at the Malmaison Hotel if you’re looking to feel truly special for an afternoon (yes, there is champagne).
For something more traditional, the Sentai Spa, located inside the Genting Hotel, is a masterclass in relaxation. The sprawling complex comes complete with salt caves, outdoor jacuzzis, mud baths, and seaweed wraps, as well as the most authentic Swedish massage you’ll find in the Midlands.
Of course, when things get too much you can always just cut loose and have some fun. There are countless bars and nightclubs across the city that seem tailor-made to ensuring their patrons forget about their troubles and get a little crazy in the process. Head to the Night Owl for mind-erasing cocktails, Jekyll & Hyde if you want to escape into an alternate universe or the Birmingham Bierkeller for some old-fashioned Bavarian hedonism.
You could kick things up a notch by heading to one of the five big casinos in the city centre, which range from James Bond levels of martini-soaked elegance to more of a Reno gambling hall vibe. If the thought of even leaving the house seems like too much effort – after all, we’re trying to make things as stress-free as possible – you can experience the best of Brum’s casinos by playing blackjack online. From single-hand to live blackjack, variations of the classic 21 game – from Surrender to Switch – are there to relieve your stress.
Re-Connect with Nature
Health professionals will often say that one of the most effective salves for mental strain is mother nature herself. In this regard, Birmingham more than provides. This city has some of the best parks in the country within a stone’s throw from the centre, while a 10-minute drive out of town will confront you with some truly stunning natural beauty.
King’s Heath Park was the first of Birmingham’s 600 parks to achieve Green Flag status and it’s a true urban oasis, home to numerous protected species and full of quiet corners to meditate in. Cannon Hill is the place to go for some elegant Victorian-style strolling, while the 450-acre Woodgate Valley Country Park will make you feel as if you’ve been teleported from the city centre straight into the wilderness.
We love Birmingham, but she can be stressful sometimes. Thankfully we have plenty of options to help us out when work is getting too much or the traffic jams are pushing us to breaking point.