D.C. was ranked the fittest city in the U.S. in 2016 by the Today Show, however, health and wellbeing include much more than just physical fitness. The Nation’s Capital is fast paced and continuing to grow, therefore, mental and emotional wellbeing are paramount when dealing with the challenges of a big city.
Here are some tips to combat the stress…
1. Find your tribe – While networking is highly recommended, try to participate in activities that aren’t in your career field. Connecting with new communities will take the stress off of others focusing on what you do for a living. The added excitement will supply you with more leeway to feel comfortable getting to know new people. Follow up with them and see where it takes you! Fitness crews like District Running Collective create spaces to meet new friends while getting in shape at the same time. Don't like group fitness? Try joining an Improv class at Washington Improv Theater.
2. Beef up your morning routine - In a city like D.C. where commuting to work can be a job in and of itself, take some time to prepare the night before. In the morning, your lunch will be packed, clothes ironed and you will be ready to jet out of the door! Not to mention you might get a few added winks of sleep.
3. Initiate more conversations – Yes, you may have a top-secret security clearance, but the rest of your life doesn’t have to be. Instead of asking people what they ‘do for a living,’ ask what they like to do with their free time. People are a lot more open to talking about their hobbies rather than answering interview styled questions.
4. Leave your comfort zone – There’s a reason why this region is called the “DMV”- there are several distinct territories to explore. Branch out into a place you’ve never been. Try being a tourist for the day In Maryland or Virginia and splurge on sights you’ve never tried. (Click here for getaway ideas)
5. Be “off” on your days off –This is probably the hardest of all five. Yet, taking a day to do little, to no work is so nourishing. Run a hot bath, read a magazine or catch up on that book you’ve been meaning to finish. Small steps to reclaim your personal peace will pay off tremendously!
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for length and clarity.