New York City Your Best Tool for Learning English

Here we are, another month into this pandemic with not so much of an end in sight. The warmer months seemed to give us a burst of energy and hope, as we were able to slowly and carefully introduce things back into our lives that we had to suddenly sacrifice without much notice. Even though we were consistently warned that we were facing a second round of the virus in the colder months, it still feels like a shock that we’re slowly going back to the beginning.

Like so many New Yorkers, my family is far away in different states and even time zones. Since March, I’ve cancelled visits and trips to see them, and it’s been difficult watching my nieces and nephews grow up over Zoom calls. It’s tough when I’m having a bad day and all I want to do is talk to my parents. But I have to also remind myself that I’m not the only one trying to manage this strange moment in time – I’m lucky that I have the means to work in the safety of my own home and that I have the ability to use all the capabilities of my devices to stay connected.

I do these little tricks throughout the day and throughout the week to keep me going. That’s not to say that I don’t have my hard days or that I don’t struggle with my anxiety or worry levels. But I recognize that I also have to pay attention to my needs, now more than ever before. Because I’m not seeing my family or my coworkers in person, I do what I can to stay as connected as I can – within reason, of course. These little tricks have helped me get through the monotony, where some days it feels like it’s exactly the same as the one before it. While every person’s situations and circumstances are different, you’ll be able to find out what works best for you and your needs.

  • Rearrange your furniture

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that I’d be working from home full-time for this long. When we realized that we weren’t going back to the office anytime soon, I bought a desk, rearranged the layout of my apartment, and created a spot for inspiration. About four months in, I did it all over again and moved things around. It wasn’t easy, as I don’t have a lot of space and I live alone, but doing this made me feel like I had a fresh take on the days. It brought about a sense of change during a time when change might be something we’re all craving.

  • Give in to your temptations for a cozy home

We’re getting into the brutal days of winter, which means that we’re going to be spending a lot more time indoors, especially when we’re still in a pandemic. I’ve always been a firm believer of making your home as comfortable as possible, but there’s never been a more important time to do that than now. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. Layer on the blankets, splurge on those cozy-smelling candles, and make your home as zen-like as possible. If we’re going to be spending so much time indoors in the coming months, you might as well make it as inviting and comforting as possible.

  • Make time for some you-time

This was probably the hardest trick for me to implement, as it’s difficult for me to turn my brain off and shut down. Especially since my apartment is now my workspace, I find that it’s been more challenging to make that distinction between my professional life and my personal life. So on the days I’m not working or in the hours after my workday, I try to do something that truly allows me to focus on my own time. Some nights, it’s watching mindless TV, and other nights, I curl up with a book and tuck away my devices. A new thing I’ve introduced is taking advantage of the extra time in my days without a commute, which means that I’ve actually been taking bubble baths one night a week. This has been really helpful, as I’ve been able to lose myself in the separation (mentally, since I’m relaxing, and physically, since I’m in a different room!), and I also find that this helps me sleep better at night, which is something I think we could all benefit from.

Category : Stay in New York

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been living with COVID-19 for as long as we have – on one hand, it feels like we’re all still adjusting to this new way of life, but on the other hand, it’s hard to imagine what life was like before COVID-19 became a part of our daily reality.

I’ve said this a few times over the past couple of months, but I’ve never been more proud to be a New Yorker than now – watching our city’s response to the seriousness of this pandemic and witness it go from the worst place in the country to one of the best has solidified my pride to be here. It’s rare that I take public transportation these days just so I can keep myself and those around me safe, but when I do, I’m continue to be impressed to see that every person is wearing a mask, is consciously maintaining physical distance from one another, and is simply doing their best to stay safe and keep those around them safe.

I wear my mask everywhere I go – it’s become a part of my external batch of necessities: wallet, keys, phone, mask. I also bring hand sanitizer with me at all times – if I’m in a grocery store, I try to be mindful about everything I touch. Even if I go outside to take out my trash, I try to think about how many other people in my building that have touched those door handles in the same day. You’ve heard it a million times – always be washing your hands, and pay attention to how often you’re touching your surfaces and your face. It’s so simple, but SO IMPORTANT. We live in New York City, which means that we all share so many things throughout the course of one day. It’s so important to be as safe as possible.

I’ll spare you the obvious, like wearing a mask and washing your hands and carrying hand sanitizer. So instead, here are a few other rules of thumb to consider while living here in New York City so you can stay safe and keep those around you safe as well.

  • Socialize in small groups

I know every person’s circumstances are different when it comes to living space – maybe you live with roommates or live in a different borough than your friends – but this is the time to get creative when it comes to hanging with your friends. If a member in your group has an outdoor space, declare that person the host! Bring snacks, drinks, and games and have a night in instead of congregating at outdoor bars. Not only will this keep you safe, but you’ll save so much money, too. Be sure to dress warm and travel with layers, as November is the unofficial start of winter weather!

  • Order takeout

By now, you’re likely aware that the restaurant industry is struggling due to the dining restrictions that the CDC has set in place. So this is the time to give those delivery apps some attention! Not only will you be able to support local businesses that value every dollar they get, but you’ll get fresh and amazing meals delivered right to your door! Be sure to tip well, too, as people are battling the outdoor elements to get your food to you quickly and safely – especially now that the weather is getting chillier!

  • Set guidelines and rules for yourself

Over the past couple of months as we’ve adjusted to all the phases of reopening, it’s been very tempting to do ALL the things that I’ve wanted to do since the city shut down. But again, I have to be very thoughtful and mindful of my safety and that of others. Because I’m fortunate enough to be able to work from home for my job, it’s easier for me to stay in during the week. So that I not only continue practicing safety but also satisfy my urgency to socialize and visit with friends, I reserve one day during the weekend to hop over to a different neighborhood to visit and catch-up with those I haven’t been able to see. This one-day-a-week has proven to be a successful practice, as I get to look forward to that one night a week that I go out, and I also feel that I’m staying safe and staying home as much as I can. Bonus: because I’m not going out as much as I used to before COVID-19, I’m saving so much more money, too!

Category : Stay in New York