These Are The UK’s Most Relaxed (& Stressed) Cities During Lockdown

Photographed by Meg O'Donnell
Life in lockdown is presenting challenges we could never have anticipated – from missing our lunchtime trip to Pret to working out why we're suddenly sweatier than normal.
A toxic combination of coronavirus anxiety, constant close proximity to flatmates and Zoom fatigue is also making it difficult for many of us to unwind. It's a bit of a paradox, really: suddenly we have more time than ever to chill out, but somehow nothing feels very relaxing.
New research by SpaSeekers has found that people in some parts of the country seem to be making a particular effort to actively relax during lockdown.
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The spa-booking website analysed how many Google searches for five ways to unwind at home – home yoga, home meditation, home workouts, home facials and home spa treatments – were made over a 24-hour period in 15 of the UK's largest cities.
Manchester placed top of the relaxation list with an overall "zen score" of 71 out of 100. People there are particularly searching for home meditation apps and techniques as well as information around new skincare routines.
Newcastle placed second with a score of 66 out of 100, thanks in part to a high volume of searches for home workouts, followed by Liverpool with 53 out of 100. According to the data, people in Liverpool are especially keen to find out more about home spa treatments.
At the other end of the scale, people in Cardiff, Belfast and Edinburgh seem to be searching the least for home relation techniques. Searches in London are relatively low, too: the capital places 10th of 15 on the "zen list".
As interesting as these regional variations are, it's important to remember there's no right or wrong way to get through lockdown. Whether you feel happiest honing your baking skills, watching more Netflix, or doing absolutely nothing at all, just keep on doing whatever feels right for you in the moment.

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