Dr. Leora Manischewitz

Oct 23rd, 2023

You Live in NYC (or the Big City) – Do You Have Any Idea How to Relax?

Stress is an inherent part of living in a big city, especially NY. The pace is fast, the competition is brutal, the environment can feel claustrophobic.  People are often (if not usually) measured by what they do rather than who they are. The pressure around getting your child into nursery school is as fierce as that around getting him/her into college. Luxury items, rather than a comforting community, are the gold standard.

Talk to many NYers and they’ll tell you they’re tired. After work, they often want to go home and ”zone out” in front of the TV or computer. Singles fret about meeting a mate on way too many app sites. Parents careen between work and child rearing and fall into bed by midnight, bleary-eyed. Partners, exhausted, “forget” to spend time together and/or have sex, and eventually fight about it.

What is to be done?

  1. Accept the choice to live in the city, nobody forced you to do so. It’s fast paced and so are you. You probably chose it for its energy, culture, opportunities, etc- go with it.
  2. Create a healthy lifestyle to counter-balance some of the stress. If your job is demanding, make sure to take a walk at some point in the day, get some healthy food, window shop, people watch. Even if for a short time. Just to get away from focusing on the next work task at hand. Have someone teach you diaphragmatic breathing (gentle, rhythmic breathing from the belly) and practice it several times during the work day. Be sure you “know” yourself: are you a “make plans with friends” person? A culture driven person? A hobby-ist? An exercise type? In other words, how can you give yourself pleasure in a fast-paced environment? Paramount!
  3. Make time for your partner- do things together which you haven’t done in a long time by virtue of stress or routine. Take a shower together; watch a film with a tub of popcorn; book a hotel for a night and have sex there for the novelty effect; visit a neighborhood you haven’t been to in forever.
  4. Give yourself permission to “unwind.” Do nothing for a day. Read, take a bath, talk on the phone, lie in bed with the newspaper, take a short nap. Forget you lie in the big city.
  5. (If you have little kids, get a sitter once in awhile on the weekend or do the above after they go to sleep). Relaaaaaaaaax.

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