If there’s something every NYC Dweller needs, it’s an arsenal of self-care tips and tricks to get through the gritty lifestyle. Take it from someone who knows: New Yorkers are always on, even when we’re depleted by the insanity of it all– like staying late at work to finish a big project, or chugging happy hour cocktails on an empty stomach. It’s totally unhealthy; and yet, only a few of us really take the ramifications into consideration.
Well, I think enough is enough. New Yorkers, we need to reclaim our self-care time, and embrace it. We need to turn off without shame, and bask in the relaxation. I could go on and on, but I think it’s time I shall dive into the goods. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: 10 Self-Care Tips Every NYC Dweller Needs To Know.
1. Start Saying No, Professionally and Personally
Most NYC Dwellers are “yes” people, chasing every opportunity and overextending already tight schedules; it’s largely part of the culture, always has been and always will be. The archetype exists for a reason: New Yorkers are hustlers who will stop at nothing.
Are you a “yes” person? A “yes” person arrives early and stays late at work. A “yes” person will reluctantly go out on a Friday night, despite feeling the burden of exhaustion. A “yes” person fears FOMO. Basically, a “yes” person fulfills any and every obligation at the expense of their wellbeing.
In a land of yes, it is time to be person who embraces “no.” For the sake of self care, you do not have to commit to everything. Learn to say no with confidence. You are allowed to “turn off” every now and then, and put yourself first without feeling guilty. In effect, you’ll feel elated and recharged to say “yes” to activities that actually excite you.
2. Do Fitness That You Enjoy
Fitness is the most generic self-care tip, yet many of us resort to exercise regiments we absolutely hate. Basically, we are pressured to do outlandish workout regimens– this certainly isn’t just a New Yorker Dweller thing. From experience, I’ve learned that this has backfired spectacularly: if I force myself to do something, then I become cranky and end up stopping altogether.
Don’t be that guy. Start doing physical activities you actually enjoy! I love going on hour long strolls, so that’s my regimen. I no longer have a gym membership, nor do I endure intense running workouts because neither brought me any happiness. Fitness should be fun, not something that brings existential dread.
3. Make Time For Friends and Family
The ultimate self-care tip is enjoying the company of loved ones. It’s no secret that we New Yorkers have jam-packed schedules, making it challenging for us to prioritize the people who matter most in our lives. We are often left alone to endure the day-to-day hardships, like crying on the A line in solitude after a horrible day (yes, I’ve done this before).
I am busy; yet, I’ve perfected the balance of meeting obligations and making time for friends and family. In this city, I recommend you doing the same. Our loved ones help us whenever we’re burns out, messy ordeals, drama and mayhem; they add levity, peace, and genuine happiness that give us strength during the darkest of days. You depend on them, and they depend on you.
4. And Make Time For What Makes You Feel Good
I like blasting music, watching trash TV, getting lost in Reddit rabbit holes, and applying face masks; and no matter how hectic my life gets, I make time for activities simply because they make me feel good. Best part is, I don’t owe anyone an explanation. Anyway, the point here is, find your happy activities, do them, and do them often. If you haven’t caught on, there’s a pretty general theme to this article, with each point reiterating the importance of putting yourself first. This point is just another example of that overarching message. You must drill it into your mind.
5. Start A Gratitude Journal
The gratitude journal is a self-care tip that I believe is totally underrated and 100% necessary. Though it’s impossible to stay positive all the time, I try to reflect on the good in my life: the people, places, situations, and things that provide, and/or have provided, immense joy. I then jot my reflections down in a journal as a way to document my gratitude, and remind myself reasons to be happy. I do this because as a cynical New York Dweller, I easily fall into negative thinking. I always assume the worst and when the worst does happen, I immediately become “woe is me” mode. “Woe is me” mode can spiral, and leave you feeling
horrible on a regular basis. A gratitude journal holds me accountable and keeps my head above water; and it can do the same for you if you’re motivated and consistent.
6. Prioritize Sleep Whenever You Can
This self-care tip is perhaps the most important, impacting both your physical and mental wellbeing. Simply put, prioritize sleep whenever possible. In the city that never sleeps, we NYC Dwellers, by innate nature, glorify chaos every hour at the expense of much needed ZZZ time. I believe this mindset is both damaging and dangerous, perpetuating the idea that exhaustion is just part of our zeitgeist. Exhaustion should never be the norm; and if it is for you, change that. Little sleep has harmful effects on our overall health and mood; these effects sneak up on us when we least expect them, making things pretty messy in the aftermath. When you catch up on sleep, you’re recharged, energetic, and ready to take on anything; you’re invested in everything you do. If you have trouble sleeping (believe me, I’ve been there), I recommend shutting down all gadgets at least an hour before you plan to snooze; it makes all the difference!
7. Limit The Booze and Junk Food
I love binge drinking and eating as much as every other NYC Dweller does; however, sometimes, it’s imperative to set limitations. The lifestyle easily gets old and financially unstable as it does burdensome; and I hate to break it to you, but hangovers last for days by the time you hit 23 years old. Do with that information what will you will.
8. Consider Therapy
Self-care isn’t always face masks, Rupi Kaur poetry, and bubble baths. Sometimes, you need to buckle up, allow yourself to feel, embrace vulnerability, and free confined feelings in a therapy session. It will be ugly and possibly filled with snot, but you’ll feel better. Yes, the mental health stigma still exists, but we’re all becoming *somewhat* more open to therapy– well, at least in NYC we are.
Self-care is crucial in every city, but especially for those lucky enough to skate by high rent in the Big Apple. The typical NYC Dweller puts this practice to the way side, inadvertently sacrificing their peace of mind and overall performance as a result. All in all, with these self-care tips, you can rev up your relaxation game to the next level.