Londoners used to living in the big-city fast lane are being urged to slow down, in a timely call as a report Tuesday highlighted growing anxiety among Britons.
A 10-day Slow Down London festival starting next week seeks to help London's workaholics reconsider their rushed lifestyle by proposing relaxed alternatives to whizzing away their lives.
"The buzz and speed of London can be exhilarating, but when lunch becomes a sandwich at the computer and you hate the tourists for walking too slowly it must be time to slow down" says festival director Tessa Watt.
A variety of slow-related events range from physically slow activities such as walks and yoga sessions, to conceptually slow intellectual events like exhibitions and talks.
Slow-eating, as opposed to our modern-day fast-fooding, will also be promoted: slow breakfasts, slow food markets, slow wine-tasting.
To kick off the festival, a "Big Slow Walk" across Waterloo Bridge at rush hour, to marvel at one of the city's most astounding river views "at a snail's pace".
Partners of the festival include the Southbank Centre, the British Museum and book shop Foyles, where the key events will take place.
The slow-living trend started in Italy, a country notorious for its laid-back latin relationship to time.
Similar events have been organised in cities accross Italy, Europe and even Japan where mock "speeding tickets" were given out to hurried pedestrians.
The festival will ironically take place in a crisis-stricken capital, now a worldwide symbol of quick-profits and the excesses of greedy impatience.
Its announcement came as the Mental Health Foundation warned Tuesday that Britons are becoming more anxious due to worries ranging from terrorism to bird flu, and the general air of anxiety is adding to the economic crisis.
Reasons for increased fear include terrorist threats, health scares, warnings by pressure groups, politicians' use of "worst case scenarios" and even 24-hour rolling news, constantly highlighting dangers and risks.