Have you ever moved to a place and you just hated it. Or life doesn’t seem as good, but you can’t put your finger on why? My life in Seattle was relatively more blissful than the life I’ve been able to cultivate so far in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia). What I missed most was the day to day lifestyle, my community and my friends.

 

In my mind, I had been blaming my change of circumstance, my husband, lack of a strong community and adapting to having kids for the increased tension and dissatisfaction.

 

I wasn’t that far off, but in a discussion I had with a group of women, captured in Thou shalt not stress, I realized something when we discussed ways to deal with stress. The real “Why” finally dawned on me:

 

My lifestyle in Seattle was filled with a lot more de-stressing moments than my life in DC.

 

View from our apartment on a cloudy day in Seattle

View from our apartment on a cloudy day in Seattle

I had things that stressed me out in Seattle as well, but my lifestyle gave me more ways to deal with and unload the tension. There have been times here when I have let so much pill on that I just locked myself in the closet in an attempt to relax.

 

This also gave me an insight on how I could FIX it. In realizing the “Why”, I got the key to the solution.

 

Let’s recap. These are the more common ways to de-stress:

  • Deep / Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Self-care (spa, vacations…)
  • Exercise
  • Journaling
  • Prayer & Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Do things you love (Hobbies)
  • Avoid negative thinking
  • Let go of things you cannot change & Focus on things you can
  • Take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life
  • Vent, talk to friends
  • Socialize
  • Get in touch with nature

Now lets take a look at a typical day in my life in both cities:

 

Seattle

DC

Wake up to a view of the pacific ocean and the Olympus mountains in my floor to ceiling windowed bedroom Wake up to a view of the chest of draws.
2 to 4 times a week, go jogging through the sculpture park and onto the water front park 2 to 3 times a week, go jogging up a highway
Jog a short distance to the park, jog through art and people taking in the morning sun. Things I could see on my jog:- Early birds getting their worms (seriously)- Seagulls, ducks, geese- Seals, jellyfish in the water- Rose garden

– Large Cruise ships, Cargo ships and sail boats

– Pacific ocean, Puget sound

– Older couples holding hands and taking a walk

– Once, blue angel pilots practicing before the real show

– Once, I witnessed a guy proposing

Jog a short distance to a part of the roadthat’stree-lined. Things I could see on my jog:- Squirrels in the trees- Deer- Other people jogging- Lots of cars

– Once, I saw some wolves (I turned right back)

 

Or, go cycling at Zengo if I can make it there on time. If I don’t, I can’t cycle and I drive right back with no workout and a good amount of time wasted in traffic.

Make myself a delicious smoothie for breakfast Make myself a delicious smoothie for breakfast
Prep a fruit bowl and a vege bowl for snacking at work
Get ready for work and jump on the bus Get ready for work and jump on the train
Listen to NPR and probably sleep off a little on my way to work Listen to an audio book on my way to work
Work is just annoying Work is wonderful. I like my job and my co-workers
Meet up with friends for lunch, a lot of the times Had lunch at my desk
Leave work, go to a Hot Yoga or Barre3 class Leave work, go home.
For dinner, cooked a lot , or pick up some great food at a local restaurant(Seattle restaurants are really, really good. FYI, lots of them are eat-in, or pick up, and do not deliver. Fortunately, the restaurants were very, very close) For dinner, sometimes cook, sometimes eat what they nanny has made, sometimes get food delivered
Evenings, since I lived downtown, I hung out with friends a lot. Did lots of interesting things like, see a film at the Seattle Film festival, a ballet, a movie, a play, or take in a concert. Evenings, not much. A few happy hours here and there but mostly stayed home. Sometimes, write for Lappolis.
Weekends, had a busy social calendar with friends events. We hosted a lot of events as well. Went on hikes, road trips, attended festivals, generally hung out with friends. When I was bored, I’d walk downtown, grab a croissant from my favorite French bakery, or a gelato from my favorite chocolate shop. Weekends, don’t know too many people, so we are bored a lot. Live in a downtown area, so walk downtown and get my favorite cupcake from Velatis
My grocery shopping was going to the Ballard farmers market, where you had farmers that took a lot of pride in their produce. I loved going with my $40 and leaving with a whole lot. Then I’ll stop at Traders Joe’s on my way home, and whatever I hadn’t bought, I’ll stop at Whole Foods and pick up. I enjoyed trying a lot of new recipes and inviting people over for dinner. My grocery shopping, go shopping at Trader Joes, a nearby farm stand when that’s open and at the Whole Foods. There is a framers market, but it seems so expensive.
On Sunday, church and then have lunch with friends On Sunday, go to church

 

 

View from our rooftop in Seattle

View from our rooftop in Seattle

Which lifestyle has more stress relieving activities built-in? As you may be able to tell, in Seattle, I spent more time exercising, taking deep breaths while admiring natures beauty, attending festivals, admiring arts and culture and hanging out with friends than I do now.

 

 

These are the things I can incorporate more into my life to help improve my lifestyle and my current life satisfaction.

 

 

How can you improve yours?