1. Over 300 young people in Shenyang, Liaoning, participate in the city’s first tomato fight. They hurl tomatoes at each other to have fun and reduce stress.
2. A sleep training course is opened in Changsha, Hunan, where white-pyjama-clad participants learn exercises to improve sleep quality.
3. In Ningbo, Zhejiang, a love-themed pillow fight is held at a shopping mall on Chinese Valentine’s Day (the seventh day of the seventh lunar month), where both couples and singles can join in and have fun together.
Urban stress is close to being a national epidemic, especially in metropoles such as Beijing and Shanghai. A number of triggers are driving up stress: financial troubles, interpersonal relationships, soaring property prices, a highly competitive job market, social tensions, marriage and child rearing.
Back in 2012, a report on workplace stress by international business service provider Regus showed China has become the most stressful country in the world of the 80 countries surveyed. As scholars have noted, historically capitalist countries built up their industrial and economic prosperity for over 500 years, while China has been forced to cram half a millennium of development into 30 years – no doubt the country’s citizens have had to deal with the growing pains of such a spurt.
In recent years, major cities have witnessed the emergence of various stress relief activities and outlets that help urban residents find escape for a moment from the pressure cooker society.