For the record: I’m a city child, born and raised in a genuine concrete jungle (except for the summer months, naturellement).
I need the urban setting because it’s where I can read the signs. I can move through the crowd, and I’m shopping-survival-savvy. I know where to find a parking spot and am drilled to effortlessly stare into the air when at public transport. I need the architectural landscape of old, new, shiny and abandoned buildings, here and there a statue, here and there a park, here and there a graffito. I can’t live – … sake! – I can’t survive in a small town or in a village.
In the same time I hate living in a big city. Life here is unhealthy, loud, stressful… and it’s always artificial: we move – but only in the yoga class! We eat organically produced food – but we breathe fumes and smoke! We enjoy nature’s sounds – but they’re from a CD in our fave day spa. And we meet people – but we always rush, and while we’re always too late we are sitting most of the time. Only the cultural, intellectual life’s authentic in a metropolis (we generously omit Leo Tolstoy here; the good ol’ count was rather eccentric anyway). Museums, theatres, drama studios, art galleries, book shops – they’re all here. Galore.
But the city life drains you: whether it’s party nights or nasty, construction noise induced insomnia, whether it’s too much alcohol or cigarettes, the fun comes at a cost.
I LOVE TO HATE YOU… WHY ARE YOU SO GORGEOUS?
So yes, of course, smart urbanistas got their beauty secrets that enable them to LOVE TO HATE the city life; just like we learn how to handle a gorgeous lover who otherwise will leave us wasted.
And these are my BEAUTYCALYPTICALLY Easy Top 5 for a somewhat healthier urban lifestyle (and a prettier face altogether):
1. Sleep routine. Holly Golightly wasn’t that wrong after all. I say: Treat your body right and it will give back.
US-scientists have proven that too little sleep (under 6 hours per night, seven nights in a row, as stated in an issue of “Proceedings”) activates the “bad” genes, those to make us seriously sick, sad, and old. Nah. Don’t like. So what can you do? Science says: ditch that “yet another great event that everybody will forget tomorrow anyway” and go to sleep before 23:00.
And now it’s time for some crazy Eastern stuff! Ready?
My TCM-practitioner (find one in a village, ehehehe), who at 40 looks like maybe 20, advises to go to sleep even earlier, at 21:00, and to adjust the amount of sleep to the amount of effort during the day. Busy day = lot of sleep. Easy day = easy on the sleeping hours. She says it’s important to go to bed at the same time every day – apparently, and many scientists prove this theory, our body needs some routine. A TCM-obsessed friend told me of a Chinese friend of hers who goes to sleep at 9pm and sleeps as long as he wants, which also means getting up very early in the morning (around 3am!) if he has a lot do to. And apparently this guy looks like 15 while he’s 40. She quotes him as saying that 3 to 7am were the most productive hours. Go figure: who can procrastinate at 3am? There are no calls, no texts; Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook sleep… This Chinese sleep routine is so crazy, I might even try it! (UPD September 2013: I did!)
2. A good doc in your address book. Granted, the big city anonymity is a feature we adore. It stops at all things medical in my opinion.
Really, it can be a matter of survival – a doctor who is attentive and good, and loves his/her job, and knows you, not just your medical record. I’ve got three docs I can run to if things go wrong, and always get good advice on everything from scientific news (they know I’m a sucker for that) to nutrition tips and tricks etc. It’s been one helluva ride through doctors’ offices of horror to find those gems, though. <- This is NOT a germ pun! 😀
3. Move more, sitting kills. We all should’ve heard by now that research (and we’ve all seen this chart, put together by medicalbillingandcoding.org) shows that it’s sitting about nine hours a day that gives us obesity, heart diseases, diabetes, and cancer.
How to avoid this? Walk more. We all know what they say: it’s stairs rather than lift, it’s get off one station earlier when taking the bus/metro, etc. etc. etc. Research also shows that our brains need our body moving, else they (brains) can’t work properly.
Oh, and a bonus tip #3a: ditch the high heels. I did. And: Yes. Yes. I know. I knoo0O0oow! You walk differently on heels. We will talk about heels and posture on another occasion, I promise – UPD: and here it is.
4. Eat/drink stuff that’s good for you. I’m not talking “soul food”! I’m talking: scientifically proven good for you.
Don’t eat trash. (Duh.) Because it’s exactly what convenience food is: garbage made feed – fillers, stabilisers, colourings… you name it. It has nothing to do with enjoying the taste of food. So the trick’s to find what works for you and to stick with it. For some people, working with a good nutritionist helps.
I’d love to add here my reviews of some fantastic, almost life-changing books about food, health and scientific research. I will provide the reviews and a link to them later, but for today, let me simply state this: Food is a deeply important AND delicate matter. To paraphrase Wallis Simpson: You can never know too much about food.
5. Drink enough water. Waaaaaait, what is enough and does it need to be water?
While them ladies and gents in lab coats argue about whether 1 or 2 or 3 litres of water per day is good, whether it should be plain water or can include juice, coffee and tea – or maybe even soup and other food containing water… we are left wary of discussions and still guessing! Fact is: the human body needs water to naturally “detox” and to, well, function. Period. So – a wild guess on my part – probably three cups of coffee and an after-work beer a day aren’t cutting it.
I’m not a doctor, but after five doctors gave me seven answers… I said “Dammit!” and simply tested what my feel-good-numbers for water were.
Hey, fellow Adventurers! I know I promised you a rant. The truth is, my ranting always leads to some problem solving (and sometimes to more rants).
Maybe I can force myself to rant properly next time? Because as I wrote this, it occurred to me that there are so many things I love to hate that call for healthy sidequests. To name a few: jet-laggy business trips, summer holiday stress, living out of your suitcase, flat shoes… 🙂
And now do tell, do you love to hate big cities? What are your best health practices?