Can the urban frenzy leave space for a safe haven? | Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau


Can the urban frenzy leave space for a safe haven?

Montreal being in full swing during the summertime isn’t a myth. The city may offer an amazing array of diversity, this constant sensory overstimulation calls for noise, pollution, traffic and the constant influx of tourists. Exacerbated during the summer, the city’s energy becomes a harbinger of ailments that we tend to normalize and integrate insidiously into our daily lives: stress and anxiety. How are they characterized in our city lives? Is it still possible to find your haven of peace in a hectic urban context?

A multi-faceted urban context

The month of June alone offers a busy schedule: Formula 1 Grand Prix, farandole of festivals, shows, competitions, conferences and the Fête nationale du Québec decorate the weeks that go by at high speed. This frenetic pace goes hand in hand with the prevailing culture of impatience, the daily pressure that some call FOMO (fear of missing out). The essence of irritability and on edge attitude, a response to stress and everyday micro-aggressions.

It is for this reason that it is valuable to remember the importance of anchoring yourself in the face of mental, visual and olfactory pollution. The saying goes that you’ll take yourself no matter where you go. All the better, because while fleeing Montreal isn’t an option for everyone in the summer, learning to live in the city is. Getting to know yourself better then becomes a success factor in the quest for a more zen life. How should you do it you ask? It won’t be about good vibes only, but rather about making intelligent choices to build your inner haven of peace in order to face the outside.

Practical exercises to build a mental posture in the city


In line for a show or at the grocery store, family pressure or a list of annoyances, there are many factors that can cause excessive stress. The breathing cycle is the first step in reconnecting with the body, in order to bring attention back to the here and now. First take a deep breath, then hold it in, before performing a long exhale. During our Breath | Hot | Cold event, Sébastien Zappa gives you a 101 course on the breath work and its benefits, and accompanies you in your first thermal cycle to put it into practice what you’ve just learned. This will in part help you tame the stages of hot, cold and relaxation. and allow you to optimize the results (called “buzz”) created by the adrenaline of the first two stages.


The body is your vessel, the setting for your mind. Often strained in exercises of patience, discomfort and performance, we tend to ignore its signals and we end up wearing it out. Through exposure to the temperature contrasts of the water circuit, endorphins, white blood cells and antibodies are produced. The result? Regulated blood pressure, reduced stress, less muscle soreness and restorative sleep.


Daily challenges and hectic paces can lead to performance anxiety. Knowing how to anchor yourself means allowing yourself to take the time you need and prioritize your well-being. Contemplation is available at all times, but it is more difficult to access due to the unpredictability, lack of control, or constant newness of city life. Some habits are very simple and can make all the difference. For example, a water circuit, at dawn or during a beautiful twilight, is a magical moment that you can devote to savouring and slowing down. With the views of the city, it is an opportunity to experience it differently and to appreciate its beauty more than its torment.

The variable

Going from an urban setting to the countryside is not always accessible. However, can still consider its variables to achieve some form of balance. Some will find refuge in our swimming pools or hot tubs, others in our intimate gardens rather than in parks. Swap brutalist concrete for a cocoon of greenery, fast fashion for swimsuits, the smell of tar for a breeze of hibiscus, the pedestrian crowds for a few moments of disconnection, large gathering for a voluntary isolation.


Many are the hours we spend resisting to this lifestyle. Give yourself a few quality moments to come back stronger than ever. A 60-minute therapeutic massage with an attentive massage therapist, a 3-hour solo or duo water circuit, a treatment every 3 weeks. Find the appropriate rhythm to your personal needs. Enjoy the comfort and quality time it brings to your city life.