How to Find (and keep) Your Zen in NYC

You’re ahead of the game–you’ve avoided the typical stressors of moving into NYC by using Bedly. They’ve helped you find an affordable, fully furnished apartment, you don’t have to worry about slimy landlords, sky high broker fees, or crazy roommates. If you have a job (and even if you don’t yet) you’re sitting pretty. You’ve entered the city that never sleeps and you are owning it.  

At first it’s a great time–you find the top spots in your neighborhood for brunch, you’ve found all the key places for date hopping and sightseeing, bars for your budget and workout spots with all the best introductory deals. Maybe you’re taking a crash course in networking in the big city or just taking time to make your apartment your own.

But after that initial adrenaline rush wears off–you’ll inevitably find that something is missing. Your zen.

You don’t have to be a yoga master (or even interested in yoga at all) to notice that any semblance of inner calm has disappeared after your first few weeks in the city. And who could blame you? The city is fast paced, there’s always something to do, you’re making new friends and the world is your oyster. Your job will be demanding (so is your side hustle). But life is about balance. To avoid the burnout and to make it here (so you can make it anywhere) you’ve got to find your zen.

But not to fear–Bedly’s got you covered, on some key tips on finding (and keeping) your zen in NYC.

Tip 1: Get a noise machine

Even the calmest of New York boroughs is constantly bombarded with sirens, people talking (drinking, partying) outside your window at all times in the day and night. This can seriously impact your ability to sleep which is key for making it through those ever-busy days.

Noise machines come in many shapes and sizes. They can make pure white noise, ocean sounds, forrest sounds, waterfall sounds–anything calming clearing and centering. While the occasional siren might break through, it’s amazing how much of a difference these machines can make in drowning out the world around you. You can also find ocean sounds and calm meditations on youtube or download apps on your phone. All are geared to help you successfully channel your inner zen.

Tip 2: Commute with something calm

If you’ve got a long subway ride in the middle of rush hour your zen will seem endlessly elusive. And while it’s impossible to avoid the frustrations of being jostled or stuffed into a train car like a sardine (while the train stops constantly for train traffic ahead), you can choose to fill your ears with more than the exasperated sighs of the commuters around you.

Whether it’s an uplifting podcast, a string quartet, an audiobook, or a meditation guru, having these calm sounds will help center you. It will help you stay focused on how you want to feel, on the goals and plans you have for work that day, and let you take advantage of some time to yourself.

If you’re able to walk to work, this still applies. Your mind is super malleable at the start of the day, so make sure you’re absorbing something positive and calming.

Tip 3: Commit to a regular workout routine

While the constant power-walking of the average New Yorker gets you moving, it’s not nearly enough physical activity to keep you strong–and to keep you in touch with your zen. Having a regular workout increases your endorphins and also gives you an outlet for any frustrations you have going on internally.

And it doesn’t even have to be a high intensity workout–you can go for pleasurable walks in the park or along the river with your favorite music or your best friend. Even just half an hour a week walking without purpose can help lift your spirits.

Tip 4: Try out a yoga or meditation practice

Even though it may not seem like your cup of tea, a good yoga and meditation practice can be key in helping you find your zen. Yoga To the People is a great place for simple, affordable yoga and they have locations across the city. You pay as much as you can at the door and they give you an accessible yoga class so you can figure out if it’s something that’s right for you.

MDNFL is one of the best meditation studios in NYC. They have classes that are 30, 60 and 90 minutes long–and best of all, the “class” is sitting on a super comfortable cushion with a bunch of people who are being quiet. The teacher may guide you occasionally, but otherwise it’s quiet. And in a city like New York, silence can be invaluable.

Tip 5: Do something creative every day

There are many ways to engage your creativity–you don’t have to be a professional artist to gain something positive from doing something inventive or artistic.  

Writing out your thoughts and feelings may seem inconsequential, but when you’re moving at a million miles a minute, decompressing by writing out even just a few sentences about your day can help make sure you retain and remember any special experiences. Drawing and painting helps your mind decompress from your daily stressors and can also give you a hint about where you mind goes when it wanders. If you’re a musician–or even just a professional shower singer–incorporating music and movement into your day can be cathartic.

Ultimately it’s up to you to figure out where your zen went, and how you can get it back. One failsafe, is to come home to your apartment, crawl into bed with a bowl of ice cream and watch your favorite movie of all time. At the end of the day, this fast paced New York environment is what you came here for. You’ve got a great roof over your head thanks to Bedly, and honestly, as any New Yorker will tell you, there’s nothing to make you more zen than to live in a stress free environment.
If you haven’t already, check out their listings now!

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