New York City is a city like no other. It’s the biggest city in the United States, but that isn’t the only reason that it’s so unique. New York City just feels different from anywhere else in the country. In some ways, it feels different from any other place on planet Earth. From the city’s layout and zoning to its culture and history, there are a wealth of reasons that it stands out.
But what makes New York City different can also make it tough. Getting by in this town isn’t easy, and some of its unique challenges require unique solutions. Let’s talk about what makes New York City different — and how you can make those things work for you instead of against you.
New York City isn’t just big: It’s crowded. New York City’s population is more than twice that of Los Angeles, despite the fact that Los Angeles sprawls far and wide to cover a geographic area that is significantly larger than the city of New York. While there are some areas in New York City where residents enjoy their own homes and lawns, there are also huge numbers of New Yorkers living in high-rises and relatively small apartments. New Yorkers are crammed together in the streets and on subway cars. There’s not much space around here!
The good news is that New York City’s density makes it easier to live an environmentally friendly lifestyle. Mass transit options are far better for our planet than are individual car commutes. The bad news is that density can be stressful and claustrophobic. Fight back by making time to visit parks and other wide-open spaces. Develop strategies for coping with crowds and busy places, and you’ll have an easier time in New York City.
If there’s one thing that New Yorkers love to complain about, it’s the cost of living in this big city. Everything seems to cost a little more here, and it’s not just your imagination: Studies show that the cost of living in New York City is very high indeed.
That makes saving harder, but also more essential. Buying a home is generally wiser than renting in the long term — that’s Mortgage 101 — but how can you afford to buy a home here? You’ll have to save very carefully and consider different neighborhoods and even (gasp!) suburbs to pull it off. If you succeed, though, you’ll have a valuable property in a city that everyone seems to want to live in.
New York City is the “city that never sleeps,” but it’s not always clear that this is by choice. The city’s around-the-clock noise issues keep many residents up, which is a unique and terrible challenge for your sleep cycle and overall health.
Fight back by taking steps to secure your sleeping area. Blackout curtains, white noise machines, earplugs, soft bedding, and wake-up lights are all wise investments in your sleep schedule and overall health.
New York City is a busy and competitive place. That, in turn, makes it rather stressful. It’s easy to let a bad day at work, a crazy commute, or a weird subway encounter ruin your mood. And resetting yourself isn’t easy in a culture where vacation time is so rarely taken.
That’s why New Yorkers should be particularly proactive about their mental health, advise the experts. New York City is home to some of the best therapists on the planet, so take advantage of that! Work with your insurance and your primary care provider to choose a qualified mental health provider whose services you can afford. Working with a professional is an investment in your mental health, and that’s one of the best investments that you can make anywhere — especially in New York City. Talking through your problems and developing strategies for dealing with New York City’s challenges can make a world of difference in your personal and professional lives.