New York City Your Best Tool for Learning English

Over the past couple of years, I’ve talked to you all about how wonderful it is living in the greatest city in the world. I’ve gone on and on about how lucky we are that we get to actually live here. Being in a tourist hotspot and in such a densely populated area, however, also comes with its disadvantages. Crime will always be slightly higher than other areas, the threat of international attacks can be ever-present, and as we’ve seen now, pandemics like the one we’re in can hurt our area more than others. As scary as all of this is, at the end of the day, I’m still proud to be a New Yorker, and I’ll never leave.

silver linings in new york

I have a lot of thoughts and worries and concerns that run through my brain amidst this pandemic. I try my best to not let them overcome me or control my way of life, and when I get particularly down or when my anxiety rises, I try this method of reminding myself of the silver linings – no matter how small they may be. Some of these may be individual, but some are on the macro level, but either way, try to find your own silver linings out of this!

  • I’m saving money

Before quarantine was ordered, I’d probably go out to eat at least once a week with friends. It might have been brunch or a happy hour or a dinner, but I’d drop precious money for this experience to bond with my friends or celebrate a milestone. One at time, those expenses didn’t make a great dent, but adding it up certainly made me alarmed. Since we’re not going out to these establishments, I’m saving precious money! And now that we all “get together” on Zoom, I still get to see them and laugh with them – without spending a dime!

  • My student loans are in a better place

I don’t know about you, but my student loans have been a huge burden to me over the years. Between drastic monthly payments, steep interest rates, and the thought about how long it’ll take me to pay them off, they have always been a source of agony for me. Now that student loan payment are deferred and interest is waived, all on my payments are going straight to the principle amount, meaning that I’m going to be able to pay them off faster. For me personally, this is a HUGE silver lining.

  • I’ve grown closer to my family

In an odd way, this pandemic has brought me closer with my family. We’re all spread out across the country, so seeing everyone in a normal world was hard enough – between coordinating busy schedules and managing different time zones, it was always an obstacle staying in touch. Now that life has forced everyone to slow down, I’ve found that we’re all talking to each other more, scheduling more FaceTime conversations and Zoom calls, and making promises to be better about visits when this is all over. In an odd way, this pandemic has reminded us all of how precious our connections are.

  • I’m more productive

On one hand, I’ve certainly been spending more time with Netflix, puzzles, and comfort food (hello, pasta and frozen pizzas), but on the other hand, I’ve found myself to be more productive. Before quarantine, I always heard myself saying, “If I just had more time, I’d be able to do that.” Well – we certainly have the time now, don’t we? I’ve organized my apartment, moved furniture around to make it more functional, and I’ve finally gotten around to putting things on my walls. I’ve catered to hobbies that have taken a backseat (reading, long-term planning, reconnecting with friends), and I’ve appreciated how I’m sleeping better, too.

Your own personal situation will determine what your own silver linings are, but I’ve found this practice to be super humbling and helpful whenever I get overwhelmed about our current environment. I’ve also seen people talk about how this is all so helpful for the earth – less people out and about polluting, less car traffic, and definitely less noise pollution. That’s one that I often think about, too – it’s the rest that Mother Earth has needed for so long!

When people are succumbing to this disease, it can be hard to find the positivity out of all of this, and it might even feel uncomfortable to look for the silver linings when others are suffering. If you need help getting through the day-to-day, it can be powerful to think about those silver linings – just a pleasant reminder of the reality that we’re still alive.

Category : New York

COVID-19 not only took the entire world by surprise, but it forced every individual to completely reassess their priorities, routines, and ways they communicate. It can be difficult to adjust to these changes in an immediate sense in the first place, but additionally, these changes can also have a huge impact on our mental health, especially since we’re ordered to stay inside and avoid human contact. For us in New York City, this takes on an incredibly large meaning, as we’re used to being in close contact with others at all times – subways, crowded sidewalks, and even tight quarters at the office or at school. This city fits in millions of people in a very small land area, so for us, this change has probably affected us the most.

Quarantining in new york

Living in quarantine means that we all have to work together separately to achieve public safety and health. It’s an odd concept to think about, but containing yourself to avoid the virus and the possible spread to others is the most responsible thing people can be doing at a time like this. It’s worth noting, however, that it can have an incredible impact on people’s wellbeing.

I live alone in New York City. In a sense, I’m very used to my own company, and I actually find myself looking forward to it after a long and tedious day at the office and two frustrating commutes. The first couple of weeks I adjusted pretty easily, as I was able to work from home and leave my apartment for quick walks or trips to the grocery store for necessities. As time goes on, however, I’m certainly starting to feel the impact of isolation. My anxiety about the coronavirus overall has risen, and I find I have to go through different lengths to make sure I’m taking care of my mental wellbeing. Here are a few ways I’m listening to my mind.

  • Taking advantage of virtual therapy

I recognize that I’m lucky enough to have insurance that can cover my mental health. I’ve been in therapy for a little over a year now, and I truly feel it’s had a positive influence in my regular “maintenance checks” – even if I’m not feeling specifically overwhelmed about anything at that time, talking to someone on a regular basis has provided a form of consistency that I lean on, and it helps to have an unbiased opinion on events in my life that I need to work through or understand.

A few weeks ago (thanks big-time to technology), we started taking our appointments virtually. It was a bit odd and awkward at first, but we were able to move beyond that quickly enough. I only have 45 minutes with her a week, so I always make sure that I use my time efficiently. Every week we talk about how this new way of life is affecting me, how I’m handling, and what I do to cope with the tough moments. If I find something that has changed due to quarantine, she offers solutions that will help me find my way back or cope. Either way, having her as a companion during this uncertain time has helped me overall face the unknown road ahead.

  • Take breaks

This might seem silly, but I found I had to force myself to do this, especially in the very beginning. Since I’m working from home now, I found that I was working many more hours each day – I wasn’t taking lunch breaks with my coworkers, I wasn’t catching up on weekend activities during the afternoon, and I certainly wasn’t commuting two hours each day. So I filled those gaps with more work. It started to weigh a toll on me, and I started to become more agitated, impatient, and slept worse.

Since there wasn’t a clear and deliberate start to my day (arriving at the office) or an end (putting my coat on and heading to the subway or the gym), it was difficult to place boundaries on when my professional and personal time shifted. I now make sure to completely shut my computer down by 6 pm, I block out time on my calendar to eat lunch away from my desk, and I don’t open email during non-working hours. Sometimes I’ll even put myself as “unavailable” for 15 minutes to just take a stretch break, talk a quick walk outside, or to just catch up on texts.

For as long as this continues, I’ll keep providing tips on how to manage this difficult time. I’ve found that what helps from a macro sense is that everyone is in the same position – we’re all trying to figure this out both individually and globally – and we’re all in this together.

Category : NYC Today