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Top 5 ways to deal with a bad Shanghai day

You wake up with a fright. You stub your toe on the bed on the way out of your bedroom. You forget your wallet and have to go back to get it. You nearly get run over by a bus. On days like this the imagination runs riot thinking of a thousand ways to horrifically maul that bus driver in such gruesome and voluminous detail that it would cause even George Romero to worry for the state of your mental health. For some people the anger might even bubble over into a street-side slanging match.

But for what? A brief moment of catharsis that, when the red mist lifts, leaves us feeling more than a little embarrassed. This is life in a city of 24 million people; often fun, endlessly stimulating, sometimes totally and utterly infuriating.

Here is your guide to dealing with a bad Shanghai day, and fending off the William Foster within.

  1. Breathe

Seriously: BREATHE. Inhale deeply, exhale slowly and allow yourself to cool down. That person who just cut you up? They probably didn't mean anything by it, and even if they did, what's to be achieved by getting angry about it and causing a scene? Nobody wants to see that. And besides, do you really want to be that guy? You can't fight ass-hattery by being an ass-hat; FACT. Nope, better to show the world what you're made of and just zen the shit out of the situation, preferably radiating a brilliant light to a chorus of angels while you float off into the sunset.

2. Have a massage

We've lost count of the amount of times we've heard people say that one of their favourite things about Shanghai is the sheer range of amazing massage places to chose from. One spa that never fails to impress with its peaceful surroundings and skilled masseurs is Subconscious Day Spa. Those on a budget needn't worry either, our roundup on the best massages in Shanghai under 100RMB has you covered. And, relax...

3. Go boxing

If the desire to cause someone pain hasn't left you, then you could do a lot worse than donning a pair of gloves and smacking seven shades of crap out of a punch bag. If you're looking to take your workout to the next level, then print out a picture of your boss and pin it to the bag: job DONE. Not only is boxing a great way to let all your frustrations out, it's also an incredibly intense form of exercise. The hit of endorphins combined with the feeling of release, is bound to have you ready to take on the world again. Get down to one of Shanghai's great boxing gyms and get your fix.

4. Meditate


For those not of a violent disposition (that's most of you, right?!), you'll probably want to find a more relaxing way to unwind. How about sitting in a room doing absolutely f-all for an hour? Perfect you say? Then head to the nearest meditation class.

Whether you fancy shrieking like a mad person in a room full of strangers, doing yoga at the same time as meditating, or you just enjoy thinking hard - like, really hard - about, y'know, stuff, there's something to suit all tastes. Who knows, you might even find yourself? Although, how anyone can be so sloppy as to lose track of where they left their own being in the first place is beyond us.

5. Find some green

There's nothing quite like the restorative power of green (no, not that kind) to put pay to a bad mood. Shanghai boasts many beautiful and expansive parks - often only a subway ride away. Give yourself a day at the huge Chenshan Gardens in Songjiang, or visit Shanghai Botanical Garden to satiate the horticulturalist within. Alternatively, why not visit one of Shanghai's vast forest parks? Talk about spoiled for choice.

We've got a few more suggestions for anyone still having a bad Shanghai day, even after reading our fantastic suggestions. If you're one of them, tap on 'Read more' to check out more tips.