Hong Kong is a busy city filled with extremely stressed people in a hurry to be busy somewhere else. If we allow ourselves to get caught up in all of this, we’ll burn out before we even know it. Here are a few cheap and easy ways to keep your cool in the midst of this hustle and bustle for the betterment of your physical and mental health.
Invest in your home
Because flats are so small and nightlife is so vibrant in Hong Kong, many of us spend evenings out with friends. While there’s nothing wrong with this, the issue is that when we get home we need more time to wind down which cuts into our rest, and that doesn’t exactly make the next day great.
One awesome lifestyle change is to make time at home enjoyable. Your home should be your oasis where you can truly let your hair down and feel at ease. A cluttered home is only going to make things worse, so go on and spend one weekend on getting rid of all the things that you don’t need.
After you have decluttered, have a good look at your home and make a list of improvements you can make: is it a lamp so that you can read in bed and not get up to turn the light off when you sleep? Perhaps cushions or a throw for your couch? A lint roller? Remember, prioritize so that you spend within budget!
If this sounds like a daunting project to you, just start with something easy, like your desk or kitchen counter (give it a wipe down while you’re at it, please). It will make you feel great the way only a clutter-free home could.
Invest In a Hobby
Your Netflix account does not count. It’s easy to veg out in front of the tv and think that’s the mental rest we need. While that or the endless scrolling on Instagram or 9gag could really help at times, we really need something that engages our brains for us to feel more alive. Remember, with no life, there is no work life balance.
In my personal experience, when I spend nights mindlessly bingeing a tv show or gaming, I feel rubbish afterwards because A – my mind has not actually been focused on anything engaging, and B – I feel like I’ve wasted hours rather than having enjoyed the time.
I’m not saying tv shows or games are bad, but I highly recommend finding a balance. I hear so many people talk about things they have been meaning to do. We live in such a convenient age where there are endless things we can at least get started on via the Internet. Is it a sport you’d like to get into? Start small by researching local groups or classes. Is it something you’d like to learn? Hop onto Coursera or order something from Book Depository to get started.
Clear Your Schedule
Clear your schedule for some underrated me-time. Hong Kong makes social life really convenient, but keeping up with everything and everyone can be draining. While you don’t have to be a complete hermit, trust me and give yourself 1-2 nights during the week and at least one day/night over the weekend to just be yourself.
I personally like to spend my me-time alone (or out on a jog, a recent habit I’ve picked up), because it’s where I can do some studying, reading, cleaning, journaling, or just plain old lying around. You may want to do this differently and take yourself out on a date, for a drink, or a movie, and that’s totally cool. I choose to be at home because I need that space and frankly, it’s great for my wallet.
Invest In Good, Solid Friends
Cities like Hong Kong can be very exciting. It’s a crowded city and it’s relatively easy to meet people. But they come and go, and I’m not a stranger to feeling absolutely alone while surrounded by a city full of people. On the less dramatic side, we can at least acknowledge that there are friends who drain you more than give you life. Of course, this is hugely dependent on what we’re each going through.
Don’t take me wrong, I’m not saying we should only hangout with friends who are super reliable and wise, but we will need those friends. I’ve been so blessed through these people who were really there for me and somehow managed to love me even when I couldn’t love myself when I was at my worst. I think that my mental health would have lead me to make exceptionally poor life choices if these people weren’t in my life.
So invest in them. Make them a priority and give back to them. As for your other friends, don’t give them up either. Be the rockstar that you are, be good to them, have fun with them, but don’t let go of your solid friends just because you’ve met a shiny new group of people.
So here are my few tips. It really comes down to taking good care of yourself, turning down the busyness of social life at times, and making your home an enjoyable place of rest.
Earlier on I asked on Instagram how/where do you stay zen in Hong Kong and here’s what you imparted:
- Starbucks Reserve at Pacific Place – Sharon
- Doing BJJ – Elton
- Home – everyone else, except for:
- Toilet/bathroom – Yale (his own bathroom), whereas for Amanda and I it’s where we go to hide from work/adult life
How do you manage to find your zen and sanity in a busy city? Comment to let me know!