After living in the hustle and bustle for almost a full year now, I’ve learned that there really is no end to the chaos that is New York City.
Although the restlessness and anonymity of New Yorkers has motivated me to continue to push boundaries and redefine my vision of my future, it can get exhausting at times. Like, for example, when I’m sick and just getting off of a 9 hour Sunday shift (in retail, I may add). Times like these make me wonder why I came here in the first place. Did I think I was going to magically reinvent my life and somehow abstain from becoming an “angry New Yorker”?
The answer to this is yes, of course. While I don’t consider myself to be angry at the world by any means, sometimes it’s just a lot. As I’ve became more familiar with the city life, I’ve also become more familiar with myself. By this, I mean more in tune with my emotions-I’m trying to accept that it’s OK to have shitty days where I feel lost in the millions of people in this overcrowded chaos, because I know that I’m going to have days where I feel like I can accomplish anything and everything I set my mind to.
And that’s where this whole “self care” thing comes into play. To get past the not so great days, it’s important to #1. recognize when you’re feeling off and not just brushing it aside and to #2. do something that forces you to step back from your situation and see the bigger picture. This part is up to your interpretation, of course, and includes pretty much anything that calms you down from reading a book to taking a few minutes to meditate. For some inspiration on ideas for slowing down, I put together a little list on a few of my favorite remedies as of late.
When I was younger, I used to read all the time. As I went through high school and my first year of college, though, it seemed like I got too busy and reading was about the last thing on my mind. Recently, though, I’ve picked it up again and rediscovered this past joy that I associate with opening up a book and settling into the words. I just finished Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, which I would highly recommend if you’re into fiction novels that you can’t seem to put down. Right now, I’m reading Becoming by Michelle Obama, and I’m in love with it as well. Let me know if you guys want to hear more about what I’m reading!
When it comes to working out, I’m usually more of the HIIT type of girl who loves to do high intensity cardio like kickboxing and sprinting and add on some weight exercises. None of this has changed, as working myself until I’m panting is a weird kind of therapy for me, but I’m trying to incorporate slower workouts into my routine. A run on the pier helps to clear my mind and gives me a chance to see some scenery outside of the concrete jungle, and yoga is amazing for cooling off and re-centering after a stressful day.
3. Listening to Podcasts
I’ve also just recently started listening to podcasts more frequently. They seem to be a great way to keep my mind engaged when I’m starting to lose focus on my goals and serve as a great learning tool as well. My friend, Larek, introduced me to Thick and Thin by Katy Bellotte, which feels like a big sister talking to you and giving you advice about pretty much everything from dealing with dumb boys to advancing yourself in your career. My new favorite one that I discovered is Conscious Chatter by Kestrel Jenkins. The podcast is based on sustainability in fashion and every week she interviews a new guest-someone who’s pioneering their way into the sustainable fashion movement. I love how this one feels so organic and more like a conversation than a scripted interview like some podcasts I’ve listened to before.
4. Trying New Things
Although this sounds pretty general, I can’t exactly define what that “new thing” should be for you. I’ve found that trying out activities in the city that I haven’t done before has helped me to break out of my school/work grind that I sometimes get consumed in and let me enjoy summer and the constant innovation in the city. A few new things I’ve tried (for free I might add!) this week were going to a yoga class in the park, going kayaking in the Hudson River, and going to a Pilates Reformer class in SOHO. The funny thing is, at each one of these events, I went in alone and ended up making friends because I was forced to be out of my comfort zone. Speaking from personal experience, sometimes you can get so comfortable with the people around you, and while this definitely isn’t a bad thing if you have good people around you, meeting new people and learning new stories can help remind you why you’re here and what your goals are.