New York City didn’t become the biggest city in the country by accident. It’s a bright, vibrant city with a lot to offer people. However, it can also become overwhelming quickly. That may be one reason why Big Apple’s population is actually shrinking. After years of growth, the population has declined by almost 80,000 since 2016.
That decline puts the city at risk of losing Congressional representation after the 2020 census, but it also speaks to just how hard it can be to make it in NYC. It regularly ranks as one of the most stressed-out cities in America, and it’s often at the very top of the list. If you’re a committed New Yorker, you must figure out ways to maintain (or regain) a mental edge. Here are three suggestions.
Don’t Suppress Your Feelings
People tend to work long hours in New York City. That’s partly because it’s such an expensive place to live, and some New Yorkers need to work overtime just to pay rent. It’s also a competitive environment, and it can often seem like everyone is trying to get ahead. That can get exhausting and lead to things like burnout and depression.
Denying you feel a certain way isn’t going to do anything to make the feelings go away. You can only suppress something so long before it has a way of boiling up in unexpected places. For instance, let’s say you get to work ten minutes late one day because of a problem with the subway. These delays are common, but your boss yells at you anyway. You want to argue, but don’t because you need your job.
That bad feeling has to go somewhere, though. You might go home and yell at your roommate for something small, just because you know your roommate can’t fire you. It’s not a healthy response. It won’t help your situation at work and will make things worse for you because of your newly tense home environment.
See a Professional
If you feel like you have negative feelings but don’t know how to get them out, it’s time to start looking for a therapist. New York therapists know the unique challenges presented by the city. When you’re frustrated, angry, or depressed, they’ll work with you in a way that will let you release those emotions without any collateral damage.
If you love the city but feel like you can never have a bad day or you’ll lose everything, then tell your therapist that. If you love the city but secretly wonder if you should move to the suburbs, disclose it as well. Therapy is all about providing a safe space where you can work through your feelings and process things. The way you feel on the surface may not be the way you feel deep down inside, and a therapist can help you dig down and find out what’s really happening.
Remember Your Options
People who feel frustrated or burned out may also feel like they have no other options. But you have more choices than you realize. It can just be hard to see the options when you’re in the middle of a tough time. Sometimes, it can even feel less stressful to think you’re stuck than to realize you can change.
The idea of hunting for a new job, for instance, might stress you out. Job hunting is rough, but unless you plan on staying in your current job until you retire, you’re going to have to do it sooner or later. The same is true of things like finding a new apartment or even finding a new relationship. Sure, breaking up with someone isn’t fun, but it’s better to do it now than to wait and let things fester.
In short, you’re rarely as stuck as you think you are when you’re stressed out. Remembering that is the best way to find some mental clarity in the middle of your life in NYC.