Is living in the city bad for your mental health?

Is living in the city bad for your mental health?

Being a ‘brummie’ and having lived in the West Midlands all my life, a trip to the seaside has to be planned organised trip. With bad days coming unexpectedly, it’s not that easy to get up and drive over 2 hours to nearest beach when I can hardly get out of bed.

In the city, there is nowhere to ‘escape’.

When it all gets a bit too much there are very little places that actually give you that feeling that you are away from everything going on. Especially in a city that never sleeps. I try to get my 10 minutes of ‘Headspace’ in a day, but the constant sounds of sirens, traffic and noisy passers by, makes it impossible to find silence. When the bad days come, the thought of not being able to go anywhere without being surrounded by strangers is enough to keep me inside.

Don’t get me wrong, being in a city can be brilliant. And for some people, they actually prefer to be in the hustle and bustle of everyone else lives. For the good days, there’s lots of good places to eat, there is normally lots of unique events (I’m very excited about the Gin Festival which is coming to town soon!) and lots of different places where I can sit with a cup of tea and people watch. Another benefit is that when I am able to be around others, or I need instant communication with a friend, they don’t live too far away and can be with me pretty soonish. But when my anxiety rises, even a simple train journey into town becomes a daunting task.

I get the feeling everyone has somewhere they need to be and fast.

I get crippled with the thought of being surrounded by people rushing around on their daily missions. I get the feeling everyone has somewhere they need to be and fast. When I need a day where everything needs to be 10 times slower and easy tasks take an hour, this is an environment I don’t want to be in.

Being lucky enough to own my own car, I can drive myself to escape areas and recently I’ve had a few seaside trips that have involved me just sitting by myself watching the waves. It gave me the feeling that they were washing all my bad thoughts away and it gave me a sense of being free. I felt calm until the thought of having to return home, to the city where I would lose the peace.

Is living in the city bad for your mental health?

I met up with some friends, had some Gin’s and watched the beautiful sunset. Its moments like that when I realise that ‘everything will be okay’. It might not be okay right now, but it will be. I am still trying to decide whether these good feelings were temporary, and that if I was fortunate to live by the sea, would these good feelings be with me daily. But all I know is that being by the sea gave me the chance to sit alone, have my 10 minutes of mindfulness a day and just take in that I’ve made it through another day.


S x



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