Pause with Paws: Stroke Your Stress Away!

In the past year, 74% of people in the UK have felt so stressed they have been unable to cope with everyday life, according to research from the Mental Health Foundation.

While it can be hard to avoid stress, it is easy to forget the importance of finding calm in the chaos. Wednesday 7th September is National Stress Awareness Day, a reminder to relax and an opportunity to seek support or advice on taking care of mental health.

UK local leisure, gym and swim facility Everyone Active is providing opportunities for Londoners to relieve stress. Some locations (listed below) will be offering free mindfulness and meditation sessions–yoga and pilates–and massages.

Everyone Active is also inviting specially trained therapy dogs from the charity Therapy Dogs Nationwide to centers across the capital to enable people to enjoy a canine cuddle-fix. Animal interaction, specifically stroking and playing with a dog, has been scientifically proven to slow the heart rate and reduce blood pressure.

Here are the times and places where you can take a pause with paws for National Stress Awareness Day:

1. Marshall Street, 15 Marshall Street, London W1F 7EL

  • Therapy Dog Gunner will be available between 12:00pm – 13:30pm in main reception
  • MoreYoga Soho will be hosting specialist ‘de-stress’ yoga sessions at its brand-new studio in Marshall Street Centre at the following times; 7am, 12.30pm and 7pm. Please book online at  (All yoga sessions are one hour in length)
  • Free scalp massages and head neck and shoulder massages from 12-4pm for a suggested donation to the Therapy Dogs Nationwide charity.

 2. Seymour, Seymour Place, London W1H 5TJ

  • Therapy Dog Milo will be available between 11.30am – 1.30pm
  • Free Yoga session will run from 1.00pm – 1.45pm
  • Free RPM (Virtual Indoor Cycling) will run from 2.00pm – 2.45pm

3. Porchester, Queensway, Bayswater, London W2 5HS

  • Therapy Dog Gunner will be available between 3:30pm – 5pm
  • Free 30-minute Pilates class will be taking place from 5:15pm

 4. Paddington Recreation Ground, Randolph Avenue, London W9 1PD

  • Therapy Dog Daisy will be available between 2pm – 4pm in reception
  • Free 30-minute stress-busting boxing classes will take place at 2pm, 2:45pm and 3:30pm

 5. Westway, 1 Crowthorne Road, London W10 6RP

  • Therapy Dog Juno will be available from 12.00-1.30pm.
  • Free 30-minute yoga sessions will be held from 12.00-12.30pm and 1.00-1.30pm
  • Charity scalp-massages will be held between 12.00 – 1.30pm.

 6. Moberly, 25 Chamberlayne Road, London, NW10 3NB

  • Therapy Dog Daisy will be available for one hour from 12pm
  • Free yoga sessions will be held from 11.30am – 12.30pm and 12.00pm – 12.30pm
  • Free RPM (Virtual Indoor Cycling) class will be held from 12.30pm – 1pm
  • Charity scalp-massages will be held between 11.00am – 12.30pm