How to Relax, the New York City Way


In this hectic world, sometimes it’s easy to be stressed. All it takes is just someone to look at you the wrong way or for you to wake up late for work. Stress is just going to be a part of it all.

So then let’s focus on turning those frowns upside down (ugh, did I just stress you out by saying that?)


Disclaimer: I’m no expert on human behavior, but I am a native New Yorker, so everything I say is gold.

1. Suggestion: Try To Let The Small Things Go. 
Living in New York means that there are a lot of things going on. Sometimes your Metrocard doesn’t swipe the first time, the person in front of you can’t figure out their coffee order or the cable goes out during prime time TV. Just let it gooooo (Sing the song, I know you want to). Don’t start to hate everyone and everything in your sight. Breathe a little bit. No one will notice if you’re angry at them anyways, so what’s the point in wasting your energy?

2. Suggestion: Think Positively, Be Nice. 
Sometimes all it takes is just positive thinking. Did the client just give you a 5-hour deadline? Just look at it as a challenge and know that you will be appreciated when you finish the project. Sure all you want to do is just take the first two hours to curse out everyone but you’re just creating more stress for yourself. Just take one deep breath (do you see the pattern?) and figure out a game plan. Stewing about it will just make it worse.

3. Suggestion: Fake It ‘Till You Make It 
Let’s be honest, sometimes the stress is just too much. At times, New York City sucks (its OK, I can say that, I grew up here). There are the trains you just missed, people who don’t pay attention to their dogs (and therefore the fear of you accidentally kicking one of them) and crosswalks you play Russian roulette with. It’s all the worst, I get it. But just fake it. Don’t let anyone know that stuff stresses you out. Treat that tick as just a funny little quirk. No one will know if you’re stressed, if you hide it. People will think you’re just a weirdo and guess what, people are weird.

4. Suggestion: When All Fails, Embrace It. 
I hate to say it, but just be stressed. Be that person. Maybe it forces you to focus and you get work done faster. Just find the silver lining of being stressed. Tell people you’re stressed. Maybe that will get them to leave you alone so you can get your shit done! Besides, some people produce the most beautiful work under stress. It might not be the prettiest journey, but the end product will take away alllllll the stress.

Stephanie Liu is a user experience consultant based in New York City. She's strict with rules but always with a smile. Try to catch her on a good day though. Just kidding, she's harmless. Get in touch.