Lockdown Life

A visit to the sauna would be perfect right now

There’s a definite chill in the air in London at the moment. I don’t mind the cold, as long as it’s not accompanied by rain, but today it seemed to seep into my bones.

I haven’t been able to warm up all day, no matter how many layers I wear. I found myself fantasising about heading downstairs to our sauna and spending some time enjoying the heat. I’d bring a new book and maybe even a beer, and after moving between the sauna, the showers and the jacuzzi a few times, I’d come back to our apartment glowing, sleeping and very relaxed.

There’s something hard to quantify about the sauna experience. It’s both exhilarating and relaxing at the same time. You’re pushing your body to the upper limits of comfort when it comes to heat, then drenching yourself in cold water. If I do it properly (i.e. for long enough) it feels like I’ve done a cardio workout! And is one of the best cures for my insomnia that I’ve ever encountered.

Unfortunately, it’s just one more COVID-19 casualty. Our building’s sauna, jacuzzi and communal changing rooms are shut at the moment, with no re-opening in sight. I wonder how the pool and gym can be open, yet the sauna remains out of bounds – even for a single person booking it at a time. But then I’m not an epidemiologist and just want to follow the rules. There’s probably a very good reason for it.

So it is what it is, for now. And in the scheme of things, it’s nothing. I actually had thought about the sauna for weeks. This cold has me lusting after a good sweat.

Instead of lying back in the sauna and getting my sweat on, I’m on the sofa in a hoodie, sipping a massive mug of tea and flicking through photos of last year’s holidays, imagining I’m still on the beach. It’ll have to do until the world recovers from this madness and I can get back to sitting in a sweat-box with strangers.

One more thing to add to my list of post-pandemic plans…

(Photo by Denny Müller on Unsplash)

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