New York City is one of the most populated places in the world, and it’s one of the most loneliest ones as well. It’s very easy to feel lonely although your surrounded by so many people constantly. For me, coming to the city and knowing this was comforting, because in a city there is so much to do by yourself compared to a small town.
If I were to give someone in the city one piece of advice, it would be to give yourself 1-3 hours of alone time weekly. Like actually go out, and do something by yourself. One of the most important things for us to do for our mental health is be comfortable being just with ourselves. I love doing things by myself in the city, and here are a few.
Read and people watch in the park
My favorite thing to do in the city is grab a book and go to the park. It’s a great way for me to escape from reality for a bit and indulge in a good read whilst being surrounded by the city. Every once in a while I’ll take a break and just sit and watch the ducks in Central Park or sit on a bench and watch the dogs and families pass by. It’s little moments that you take in that leave you appreciative and they also give me a boost of inspiration and remind me of why I came to New York City.
Take Yourself to Lunch
Now this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and I haven’t done it yet, but I definitely would. It’s not weird, and think it’s actually nice to just sit down at a restaurant and relax and enjoy a nice meal whether it be after a hectic work or school week, or just to treat yourself. It’s not the same as going and grabbing a quick slice of pizza or Shake Shack. Actually sitting down and enjoying a meal can be therapeutic.
Go For a Walk
The city is a great place to walk out your door and explore your neighborhood, or the surrounding ones. I’m always taking walks to Soho or Tribeca, and find myself taking the train up to the UES to enjoy a nice walk in the park and in the neighborhood. I’ve only gotten to experience these in the spring, but I can’t wait for crisp fall days and getting to see the city’s colors change this year. Taking a walk by yourself is another great way to clear your head, and just enjoy the city and discover new shops and eats.
Shop til you Drop
This is one that is extremely easy to do in the city. Take a walk through soho and find new shops with great finds, or head uptown to 5th and Madison to do some luxurious shopping(or window shopping, it can be just as fun.)
Explore a Museum
Another New York City treasure is all of the museums there are to explore. Although you may be able to quickly go through the smaller ones, there are always new exhibits opening to see, and you can never truly be done seeing and appreciating everything in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A few I have on my list are The Frick Collection, Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of Art, and The New-York Historical Society.
I love New York City so much. It’s a great place to be with friends, and also one to be alone. Everyone’s always out and about doing their own thing. Back in my hometown I would never feel comfortable being alone and doing things, maybe it’s because everyone was always with someone, or because there was a preconceived notion that if you’re alone your weird. Either way, I’ve learned that it’s not weird at all, and alone time is one of the most important things to give yourself.
Xoxo, McKenna Ramona Jennings