Washington, DC, is one of the single most important cities on the planet. This is the center of power in the most powerful country in the world, and this fast-moving city reflects the ever-changing worlds of politics and finance that operate within and beyond it. Ours is a city full of lore and beauty, but also of stress and anxiety. From the rushing crowds to the high-stakes careers, DC is as unforgiving as it is beautiful!
But you wouldn’t trade it for the world. You love DC’s atmosphere and its cultural attractions. You love the history, the politics, and the mysteries that live in hushed whispers and behind the walls of secretive and powerful organizations. Washington, DC is your home — you just need to find a way to survive it!
We can help. Whether you’re in DC for life or passing through for six months or a year, here’s how to get more out of living in DC while keeping yourself physically and mentally healthy.
Find ways to make preparing meals a routine
DC is full of wonderful restaurants, and it’s also full of busy professionals who tend to opt for restaurants and takeout because they “just don’t have time to cook.” But eating lots of food prepared by the pros is not a good plan for surviving DC, because that lifestyle is very expensive — and often quite unhealthy, too. The better move is to cook more of your own meals.
But how can you do that? Start by looking for ways to make cooking easier. Fill your shelves with ingredients, mixing fresh foods with reliable canned stuff that won’t expire on you. Organize your kitchen to make cooking less annoying, and outfit yourself with the cookware that you need in order to make real meals. You may also want to consider meal prep as a way to make cooking more efficient.
Remind yourself of DC’s joys
When you’re working long hours and dealing with stressful stuff, DC can feel like a real challenge. But there will always be opportunities to remind yourself of why you’re living in this wonderful city. When you need a pick-me-up, take advantage of them!
Go sightseeing. Go to a ballgame. Enjoy some live music. This is a thriving cultural center with virtually unlimited opportunities for recreation and entertainment, so live a little!
Watch the booze
Enjoying the best of DC can really pick you up, but be careful — more than a few of DC residents’ favorite hotspots are bars and nightclubs. And while there’s nothing wrong with having the occasional beer or cocktail, there is something very wrong with Washingtonians’ drinking habits. Our notoriously hard-drinking city is finally wising up to its problem, and you should make sure that you’re a part of the citywide recovery. Limit the booze, which can mess with everything from your sleep to your mental health.
Invest in mental health care
Staying healthy means being proactive about the care that you need. That’s true of your body, which is why you head to your primary care physician at least once a year. And it’s also true of your mind, which is why you should be visiting mental healthcare experts regularly, explain the experts at Therapy Group of DC.
Unfortunately, not all of us do what we need to do in order to protect and strengthen our mental health. Perhaps because of stigma or simple ignorance, many of us steer clear of therapists and other mental healthcare practioners. It shouldn’t be this way, though. You should take control of your mental health and seek therapy, which can help not only with mental illnesses but also with things as simple and as common as stress, relationship troubles, and work-related anxiety.
image credit: Washington, DC via f11photo/shutterstock