What were New Yorkers worried about this year?
Loneliness, climate change, job loss and housing were common concerns, according to eight mental health professionals interviewed for this story.
And it’s no wonder: This year many New Yorkers have had to deal with rising rents, the sky turning bright orange in June, and layoffs across industries.
The good news is that there are strategies to deal with the ever-changing city.
Here are some ideas from eight local mental health professionals to help New Yorkers find a little more peace in 2024.
start by accepting All your feelings.
Elizabeth Green, a therapist who practices on the Upper East Side, said this year, she’s seen people grapple with challenges like anxiety, job loss and housing insecurity.
Many people, especially in Gen Making ends meet isn’t enough to cover the rent. ,
Green said one way to deal with any type of anxiety is to make space for whatever emotion you’re feeling, whether they’re positive emotions, like happiness, or negative emotions, like sadness.
Identifying these core emotions is actually the first step toward reducing anxiety, Green said, because anxiety often stems from a desire to avoid deeper emotions that can be difficult to deal with.
He said, I think one way to get out of that stuckness is to get in touch with whatever anxieties are coming up, what are the emotions behind them because something is fueling those anxieties.
Take chances in social situations.
Therapist Delta Hunter runs a private practice in Brooklyn and works mostly with people trying to form or deepen meaningful relationships.
Hunter said she tells people they have to be confident and put themselves in social situations that may seem difficult.
Encourage your friends to make social events, go out more, be a little more adventurous in approaching people, both men and women, she said. We truly live in a time where gender roles are becoming much more fluid, less defined, and less restrictive.
Identify your stressors and write down a plan to attack them.
Irina Popa-Irwin is a life coach in Kips Bay. Professional and financial advancement was the major theme of his work this year.
Irwin said that to accomplish any type of goal, people must first identify their stressors and create a 90-day plan to eliminate them.
Irwin said it’s best to ask yourself what kind of steps you’re willing to take to change a behavior. It also helps to look at the people you want to be like and research what habits they have that you can practice consistently for 90 days.
That said, enjoy the process and don’t give up. I always tell people this. Don’t give up on a bad day. Give up on good days. And if you still want to skip a good day, that’s okay. But don’t give up when you’re frustrated.
He further said, start implementing your habits daily. And do this continuously for 90 days. And you will see the change.
Do one calming thing every day.
Annie Lynn is the founder of New York Life Coaching, and her office is on the Upper West Side. Lynn said most of her clients seek help dealing with developmental stress and anxiety, meaning they’re at a moment in their lives when they know it’s time to level up, but struggle to take action. We do.
Lynn said, you’re kind of dragging your feet and you feel a lot of internal tension that you know it’s time to move, but you’re not moving.
According to Lynn, the best way to jump-start the process toward your goal is to create a more “mindful mind” by doing something calming every day.
It could be meditation, it could be journaling, it could be a long walk in nature, she said. So in other words, don’t sit on your mind or brain all day. Take some time to realize that you are a whole person. Develop mindfulness practices to experience better states.
Ask yourself: What would I like to do in the future?
Stephanie West runs a group practice focused on intensive long-term therapy in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
West said that helping people find satisfaction and deeper connections with others was a major theme of her work this year.
She said one strategy to reduce anxiety involves thinking about how a future version of yourself would want to handle a conversation.
If I had eaten dinner tonight, what would have happened to me in the future? What in the future do I wish I had given up on cocktails? How would I have been in the future if I had responded to my mother’s critical comment? He said. Putting it in that framework can be very helpful to people in all kinds of situations where they realize they have more options than they thought.
Regularly examine how you talk to yourself.
West Village-based therapist Jennifer Glass Ryan said most of her clients are women in their 20s and 30s who seek help with their romantic or romantic relationships while dealing with anxiety, self-esteem issues or trauma.
Ryan said she’ll ask her clients questions to understand why they do certain things. For example, if someone was avoiding their mother, Ryan would ask questions about the nature of the relationship.
That said, this is not my way of saying keep avoiding mom. It’s about saying that there is an understandable reason why I’m finding it hard and I’m not getting angry at the part of you that doesn’t want to do this thing.
Ryan said people can better handle outside relationships by developing a better understanding of how to talk to themselves first. Are you talking to yourself in a negative way? It is important to be aware of its cause.
That said, I think when we slow down and we examine it in a generous way, most of us find that there are some things we need to learn, and maybe change how we see ourselves and the world. We can make changes in how we proceed.
Make an effort to connect with your community.
Manhattan-based therapist Elizabeth Lacey works with young adults, older people, and couples dealing with sexually compulsive behavior, addictions, personality disorders, and loneliness.
Lacy said this year she saw many people struggling with the feeling that they lack meaningful relationships.
New York is a fun place because we’re surrounded by people, but there can be a deep sense of loneliness, she said. Which may motivate people who are prone to addictive behavior to engage in these behaviors to reduce the pain.
Lacy said a big way to combat loneliness is to join or stay involved in some type of community.
That said, volunteer for things that matter to you, even if it’s just a few hours a week. It connects you with other people who care about the things you care about.
Document your feelings.
Andrew Joseph lives downtown and said his customers are typically professional men in their 20s, 30s or 40s.
A lot of men come up to me and say, ‘I’ve worked so hard to establish my career and my life, but none of it means anything to me, and I really don’t know why I did. Have done, and I don’t know he said, ‘I don’t know where I’m going.’
Joseph said that if activities like walking or yoga aren’t your speed, it can be helpful to journal about your feelings, whether on paper or digitally. Joseph said journaling can help eliminate self-judgment.
It’s easy to question what we were thinking as we sat there thinking about our thoughts. Whereas if I’m typing I don’t have time to ask questions. “It’s just free-flowing,” he said. It’s really about processing our emotions and how our emotions contain some important wisdom.
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