People, pollution and the inescapable smell of pee: It's all part of living in the city.
There are also good parts, of course. There's always something new and exciting happening, and you can have almost anything delivered to you at any time of the day (seriously).
But sometimes, it can be too much. Feeling overwhelmed by city life is natural. Most city-dwellers crave a change of pace every now and again. That's what keeps us motivated and thriving.
Since moving to a city from a rural area four years ago, I've felt overwhelmed by city life far more than I care to admit. I don't want to leave the city just yet, but I have needed to cope with my occasional feelings of overwhelm.
It's easier said than done, but these seven things have helped me immensely over the past four years.
1. Buy yourself a plant.
Cities can be overwhelming, especially with the lack of green space. A house plant will help to purify and remove toxins from the air, leading to improved air quality. Seeing as air pollution is a problem in cities, this might be just what you need.
There are plenty of plants that are low-maintenance and require minimal care. If plants really aren't for you, trying keeping fresh flowers around. Surrounding yourself with living things will help you feel rejuvenated and alive.
2. Get out of the city.
This is the most obvious suggestion for what to do when you're overwhelmed by city life. Just leave! For most cities, there are easy weekend road trips or train rides you can take that will get you out of the hustle and bustle temporarily.
If you can't leave the city once a month, make it a priority to change your surroundings every two to three months or so. A weekend away can be just what you need to reignite your passion for city life.
3. Try a new workout class.
In metropolitan areas, there is no shortage of new and up-and-coming workout classes. From a run club to aerial yoga and Redcord, there is something new to try on every corner.
Endorphins are great for you, but so is novelty. If you're feeling overwhelmed, your routine might be to blame. Opening yourself up to new and positive experiences can help you relax and recenter.
4. Hibernate for a weekend and clean your apartment.
Our external spaces can affect our minds more than we think. You've heard a cluttered environment is a cluttered mind, and it's true. Clutter negatively affects our ability to focus and process information.
Take a weekend and clean your apartment from top to bottom. Throw on a playlist or "Gilmore Girls" on Netflix and get to it. Clean your kitchen counters, floors and cabinets. Do the same in your bathroom along with the shower and toilet.
Vacuum your floors, shake out your rugs, wash your sheets and pillows and flip over your mattress. Make sure to wash your windows and mirrors, too.
While you're at it, you might as well clean out under your bed and in your closets for items you no longer need to donate to a local charity or sell on Craigslist.
Volunteering gives you a chance to use your skills or time and give back to your local community. It can also help you put your situation into perspective as well as introduce you to new people.
You'll also be able to gain new skills from your time as a volunteer. You'll encounter new opportunities and might even discover a passion for something you didn't even know you had.
6. Plan a vacation.
Planning a vacation (even if it's six months or a year away from now) will give you something to look forward to.
Half the fun of going on vacation is planning it. Picking a destination, figuring out what you want to do there and then sorting out all of the logistics can become a weekend project for you to work on over the next few months.
You'll be looking at things to do outside of your city, which will help you feel less overwhelmed. You'll also be able to reap the rewards of your hard work when it comes time to actually go on vacation.
7. Encourage a friend to visit you.
Having someone visit you and showing them around your city will let you see it from a tourist's point of view.
With everything you do with your friend, you'll get to watch them experience it for the first time, which will bring back your feelings of experiencing it all for the first time.
The fond feelings of nostalgia will reignite your passion for your environment and help you fall back in love with city life.
As magical as it can be, living in a city can also be overwhelming. Sometimes all you need is a change of pace and clean environment to get you out of your funk.
If it doesn't work out, you can always leave.