Washington, D.C., is an exciting place to live. Here, we’re at the fast-moving heart of global power — this may be the single most important place in the entire world. On top of that, D.C. has great museums, hosts great concerts, and offers great food — not to mention its fair share of excellent local watering holes.
But D.C. isn’t all good. At times, the Washington lifestyle can wear on your nerves and damage your health. That’s why it’s important to be proactive about caring for your mental and physical health here. Below, we’ll lay out what Washingtonians need to know about caring for themselves in the nation’s capital.
D.C. is known for burning the midnight oil. This is a town where work and play are rarely kept separate. We work long hours, and then we cut deals over drinks at those legendary Washington bars. We build careers in cutthroat fields such as politics and finance. And we compete with the best of the best every single day.
No wonder, then, that our work-life balance is in shambles. We’re bad about work-life balance on a national scale; in crazy cities like Washington, it’s even worse. If you’re not careful, your lack of work-life balance could damage your career and your health.
Those of us who live and work in Washington should strive to protect our work-life balance. With the right rules blocking work from the right areas of your life, you’ll enjoy happier home life, better sleep, and a healthier body. And, studies show, you’ll also become more productive at work.
You are what you eat
Healthy eating is the key to a healthy life. But when you combine long D.C. workdays with delicious restaurants and takeout options, you have a recipe for some serious culinary indulgence. D.C. professionals should be wary of how often they’re eating restaurant food and takeout — not to mention how often they’re downing cocktails and beers.
Cooking at home is a healthier option in most cases, and it will also save you money. And steering clear of alcohol is almost always the healthiest choice. While some studies suggest that alcohol can be good for us in moderation, others disagree — and all experts agree that most things alcohol does to our body are bad.
Proactive mental health care
If you’re like most people, you go to the doctor regularly for checkups. If your doctor tells you to take a medication or to go see a specialist, then you do that. Why wouldn’t you?
But, if you’re like most people, you don’t do this for your mental health. You should.
Most of us could stand to be more proactive about our mental health care, experts say. Perfectly reasonable people who would never skip a visit to the doctor can go months and years without seeing a mental health professional, and that’s not good. You don’t have to have a mental health condition to benefit from therapy, explains a psychologist in Washington DC, and you have all different types of therapy to consider. From cognitive behavioral therapy to couples therapy, you can do so much to strengthen your self-image, your decision-making, your relationships, and more.
And in a place like D.C., where stress is a way of life, keeping tabs on your own mental health is even more important. Stress is a killer (literally). Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues are all too common in D.C. and beyond. So what are you waiting for? Be more proactive about your mental health care, and start reaping the benefits of a happier and healthier life.