Combating Big-City Stress in New York City

New York City is a thrilling place to live in. It’s a great place to explore. It’s an excellent place to build a career. It’s a wonderful place to grow up or to grow old in. But it’s also very, very stressful.

Life isn’t always easy in New York. With huge crowds, a semi-functional subway system, a high-stakes professional scene, and precious little room for privacy, New York City can really wear you down. But don’t worry: here is your guide to battling stress in the big city.

New York City, stress, and your health

It’s easy to see why New York City is stressful. But that’s just a fact of life here. We can handle it, right?

You might think you can, but make no mistake: the stress you’re dealing with every day is absolutely having an impact on your health. Experts agree that stress can shorten our lifespans, in part by making us more susceptible to all manner of physical and mental ailments.

So you need to take stress seriously, in New York City and everywhere else. Here’s how to keep the city’s stress at bay.

Finding space

New York City is infamously crowded, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find spots that feel like they’re “yours”. And finding a comfortable space to decompress is absolutely crucial to battling stress.

If you want to be completely alone, head into one of New York City’s many parks or simply put a lock on your bedroom door — and consider using headphones and other means to block out the outside world for a time.

You may prefer a space of your own at a favorite bar or restaurant, and that’s fine too. Just don’t overindulge in the booze, which is lousy for your mental health no matter how good it may feel in the short-term. The important thing is to find a private and personal space that feels safe and relaxing. Once you have it, protect it: don’t use it for work or other stressful things.

Work-life balance

Speaking of work, your career is likely to be one of your biggest sources of stress in New York City. That’s natural, but you need to keep it in check. Make sure that you’re paying attention to your work-life balance — here in New York City, too many of us let ours get out of control.

You can work long hours, but take care not to burn yourself out. And when you’re off the clock, try not to do work. Enforcing work-free hours and spaces is crucial to protecting your mind. And please, please take your vacation days — leaving them unused helps nobody, because skipping vacations will do nothing but wear you out and make you less productive.

Therapy and mental health care

Managing your lifestyle will get you far when it comes to mental health, but you shouldn’t go through this alone. Experts agree that therapy is a fantastic way to improve your mental health, even if you’re starting from a pretty great place.

Whether you have serious mental health issues or just a little bit of the usual stress, you’ll find that therapy helps you sort through your thoughts and, more importantly, your thought and behavioral patterns. With that knowledge, you can better control your reactions to the things you can’t control. To get an NYC therapist, talk to your primary care provider about a referral or just look online.

Meditation and more

There’s more that you can do to protect your mental health in New York City, of course. You could try meditation, for instance, which is easy to learn (if very difficult to master) and is great for your mental health.

Keep looking for ways to manage your stress and mental health in New York City, and never forget the importance of caring for those aspects of your health. If you make your mind a priority, you’ll live a happier and healthier life here in New York City.

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