New York City is the best city in the world for a whole lot of things, from pizza to underground rock and roll. One thing it’s definitely not the best place in the world for, however, is staying healthy.

New York City is a stressful place with little room for exercise. It’s a big, boozy place full of greasy pizzas and long working days. If you’re not careful, New York City could make you very unhealthy. You can fight back, though. Here’s how to keep New York City from hurting your health.

Invest in your sleeping environment

One major way in which New York City hurts your physical and mental health is by robbing you of sleep. Just because the city never sleeps doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get some shut-eye! 

Get your bedroom space dark with blackout curtains or a sleep mask and invest in a white noise machine or ear plugs to keep out those city sounds. Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, too. That will help you get into a rhythm and get better quality sleep every night.

Join a gym

Yeah, we know: Gym memberships can be pricey, especially in New York City. But New York City is not a place that lends itself to a lot of exercise opportunities outside. While you may enjoy working out in Central Park or running a road race with the New York Road Runners, it’s fair to say that many people find New York City to be too crowded and too urban for good outdoor workouts. If you want to make sure that you work out regularly, try ponying up the dough to join your local gym or sports club. 

There may be personal trainers or classes to help you stay in the workout habit, and those can be well worth the price of admission. Plus, you may be able to find special discounted rates on gyms in the area. Look for coupons, especially around New Year’s, and talk to friends about getting referrals.

Of course, if you prefer to work out outside, you can make that work, too. Just be sure to keep moving for about an hour every day.

Carve out time and space for cooking

If there’s one unhealthy habit that defines New York City living, it’s this: New Yorkers eat way too much food from restaurants and takeout places. It’s hard to blame New York City residents for gobbling up so much of the delicious and diverse food options in the greatest city on Earth, but you need to remember that eating lots of restaurant and takeout food can be very bad for your health.

With that in mind, you should try to cook for yourself more often. Of course, that may be easier said than done in the tiny apartment kitchens that are typical here in the capital of the world. Try to make things a little easier on yourself by organizing your kitchen and outfitting it as best you can with the pots, pans, and other cooking tools that you’ll need in order to whip up something yummy. Make cooking more convenient and it’ll be easier to get in the habit of doing it.

Get a therapist

New York City is rough on your health in a lot of ways, but its impact on your mental health looms the largest. This is a busy, stressful city, and you need to be careful about how you let it affect your mind.

You can’t prevent every source of big-city stress, but you can do your best to counter the bad influence that New York City has on your mental health by being proactive about your mental healthcare. That means seeking meaningful help from a therapist NYC. There are plenty of NYC therapists taking new clients, so no excuses.

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