When you tell your friends and coworkers that you’re “finally” making the trip out to Lalaland, you’re calm and cool and making it totally not a big deal – on the outside. On the inside, you’re a bubbling volcano of uncertainty and anxiety that if you aren’t rich/famous/employed within six days of getting here you’ll give up and you’ll end up wearing a superhero costume and taking pictures with tourists.
We’re here to say: relax.
We’ve all been there. Anyone who says moving to Los Angeles is “no big deal” must have moved here from Burbank – and they’re still probably lying. No matter how far you travel to get here, not letting the stress get to you is easier said than done. Thankfully there are a number of ways to keep the anxiety at bay, none of which include staying home and cuddling a pillow (although you can do that too, if it helps).
Here are some suggestions to help you maintain balance and a positive outlook, and not let the hopeless morass of endless SoCal possibilities overwhelm you.
Believe it or not, this is half the battle. Something amazing that happens when you actually stop for a minute to pump some good deep breaths of oxygen through your system. Suddenly you have the ability to solve that problem, to continue that project, to figure out the next step, and to not make such a big deal about it.
Breathing also helps you to unclench, which is a great stress reliever in itself. Unclench what, you ask? You know, whatever’s tight. I don’t know what that means for you, only you can figure that out for yourself.
Stretch It Out
It wouldn’t be LA if you didn’t at least consider a vinyasa or two.
Yoga is big here, both physically and emotionally. If you’re going to spend most of your waking hours working three jobs and driving six hours a day between them, you need to take at least 20 minutes to downward-face your dogs.
The best part about yoga here is you can do it literally anywhere. Apartment complex has a roof deck? Yoga on the roof. Couple hours to burn in Santa Monica? Yoga on the beach. While there are plenty of places that will happily take your money and tell you what to do, maintaining a solid practice on your own terms is easy here.
Even if you don’t do yoga now, you might consider it once this city starts throwing you in uncomfortable positions (in more ways than one). But maybe that hippie-dippy stuff isn’t for you. Maybe you need something a little more movement-based to get those excess feels released.
Go for a Hike
What good would the constant near-perfect weather be if you didn’t have any place to get out in it? Good thing the city agrees; if there’s one thing LA has in abundance (besides sunshine and Starbucks) it’s dirt paths with slight inclines filled with walkers, joggers and mountaineers.
From Eaton to Runyon Canyon, Griffith to Will Rogers State Park, and the combination Franklin Canyon-Park (we love our Canyon Parks), you can find a different invigorating getaway from the city for every single day of the week. You can even hike just north of Hollywood if you take the right path; just make sure you’re hiking on public land, and not just walking up someone’s really long driveway.
Take the Subway (Yup, there’s a Subway)
LA traffic is notorious for its complete disregard of your need to get somewhere at a certain time, and a lot of the drive will be spent yelling/getting yelled at by strangers. Thankfully, the past decade or so has seen a big expansion in underground and light rail transportation. What once took three bus transfers in the same traffic you’re trying to avoid is now a rainbow crisscross of mostly-on-schedule subway trains. You can get all the way from Old Town Pasadena to Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade by taking nothing but Metro Rail the whole way (a 90-minute ride, perfect for zoning out with your headphones). That may not mean a lot to you now, but when you get here it will – and you’ll be thankful for it.
It’s nowhere near as extensive as you New Yorkers, Bostonians, or Londoners might be used to, but compared to what was here in the 90’s just be thankful that you now need both hands to count subway lines.