Managing Anxiety in the City That Never Sleeps
Living in New York City gives you access to culture, current events, and the latest trends. You are surrounded by ambitious professionals, trailblazing creatives, and a diverse population. However, no matter how much you love the city, it’s easy to become overwhelmed.
In fact, studies shows that people living in cities are 21 percent more likely to develop anxiety disorders. So, how you can fight this statistic?
If the fast pace and crowded streets of New York City trigger anxiety for you, there are ways that you can cope. From practicing self-care to seeing a therapist, you can take steps to make your mental health a priority and keep your anxiety in check. The following are some simple tips to get you started.
Make time to move
While you likely spend much of your time walking around the city, it’s still important to prioritize exercise that doesn’t involve walking to and from work. This is because exercise is one of the best ways to care for your overall mental health.
Active hobbies like biking, running, and rock climbing can be great ways to blow off some steam while relaxing your mind. Joining a gym with group exercise classes is a great way to stay active while also meeting new people. Whether you work out in the morning or after work, you reap the benefits of making time for yourself.
Prioritize quality time
With the city bustling around you, it’s easy for your mind to stay buzzing and distracted. You might feel like you’re missing out on so much activity while spending time with your friends.
However, trying to stay present and ignore the distractions might actually calm your anxiety. You will also strengthen your relationships in the process. For an extra boost, plan regular trips out of the city when possible.
Mindfulness is the practice of staying in the present moment, which can reduce anxiety. One simple way to incorporate mindfulness into your busy life is to practice mindfulness meditation. To do so, sit quietly for several minutes per day and focus on your breath.
When a thought comes along, gently allow it to pass and draw your mind back to your breathing. By sticking with this exercise, you can draw your mind back to the present when the trains are running late and when you’re overwhelmed by the noise of the city.
Spending time in nature can be instantly calming, and far too many city dwellers fail to make their way to green spaces. Eat your lunch in the park, take a walk at the end of the day, and make weekend plans in nature to take a break from the concrete and pavement.
While sitting in the park, you can replace the noise and pollution with trees and sunshine. Whether you use this time to get active, journal, or simply sit with your thoughts, it can help you feel restored and uplifted afterward.
See a therapist
When you’re struggling with anxiety or other mental health concerns, seeing a therapist is one of the best steps you can take. These professionals can walk you through talk therapy, recommend referrals for medication, and give you other tools to manage your anxiety.
The therapists NYC residents rely on will have specific knowledge to help you cope with city-induced anxiety. You can take control of your mental health and enjoy the city more by making your first appointment.
If you have a love-hate relationship with New York City, making your mental health a priority can be helpful. Anxiety can make you feel trapped and overwhelmed in your everyday life. However, by seeing a mental health professional and taking steps to care for yourself, you can find some peace in the city that never sleeps.