Life is Hard; Make it GOOD!

My friend Hendee took this.  Sometimes you just need to see the sky :-)

My friend Hendee took this. Sometimes you just need to see the sky :-)

Recently I read this article, filed by Meredith Melnick.

Wary of the pro-city-life articles that treat the topic with the assumption that *everyone* should live in a big city, I approached this one with some trepidation.  I was pleasantly surprised that Ms Melnick’s article took a different tone: instead of leaning heavily on the city-is-automatically-better trope, she allowed for the diversity of lifestyles one might prefer before making her case for city living.  And she made some great points:

  • More opportunities to see the arts
  • Diverse options allow the spiritual to find a community that connects them deeply to their faith
  • Being conveniently located near your immediate and extended family
  • More opportunities for (free) physical activity

I took issue with only one point, simply titled: City Life is Hard.

Life is hard in the city, yes.  I’ve done it.  Struggling to pay sky-high rent, spending more on groceries, and feeling like my schedule is never-ending certainly forced me to weigh my financial and personal priorities.  On the other hand, the money I saved living in suburban and rural areas all went to fueling and maintaining my car.  So my finances didn’t change much.  And really, neither did my priorities.  I still needed to be around people from time to time and I still needed to eat and sleep and move to feel good.  So let’s just agree that LIFE is hard, and figure out a way to find more meaning no matter where we are.

Here are 3 tips for feeling happier and healthier no matter WHERE you live:

  1.     Be outside EVERY day – YES, even in the winter.  I’m serious.  Put on the proper clothing and go outside!  Walk to the end of the block and back if you feel weird just standing there.  Look at the sky, the trees, the flat plains, your neighbor’s fire escape, whatever.  We need to remind ourselves every day that we are part of the world, and that weather is inconvenient but not impossible to brave.  Obviously don’t hang out in extreme heat, cold or other unsafe weather events.  But please DO try to be outside any other day, if only for a few minutes!
  2.     MOVE – For those of us that drive to a desk job, this is doubly important.  We need to counteract all that sitting.  Stretch gently in the morning.  Take a short walk around the block (BONUS: you’re also getting outside!).  And, of course, pick up that hoop!  Just for 10 minutes, do something, ANYTHING, that makes you aware of your body.  Our bodies are fantastic barometers for our days.  When I feel sluggish during my stretching or hooping, I know I have to be nice to myself that day.  Soreness and fatigue in our bodies is just a reminder to take a few more quick breaks, make sure to eat something nutritious and drink enough water to support our tired selves!
  3.     Be around people – Commit to finding one activity per month (or week, if you need it) that gets you out in the world.  It can be as simple as going to the park or a coffee shop with a book (NOT a laptop or tablet – NO SCREENS).  It could be a local salsa-dancing night, or joining a book club, or taking a free class at the local grocery store or the gym open-house.  Anything to get us out of the house, away from the almighty screens (phone, tablet, computer, TV), and remind us that we are one of many people, and we are not alone!

If you would like some personalized suggestions for ways to do these three things in your unique circumstances, get in touch with me via email, or post your questions or suggestions on Facebook! I love finding creative ways for people to incorporate easy wellness into their lives!

Posted on Tuesday, January 21, 2014 15:32