How to Navigate NYC's culture of escapism

How to Navigate NYC's culture of escapism

We all know living in NYC and it's outer boroughs can be stressful. I've often referred to NYC as a pressure cooker, because at any given time one can explode and blow their lid. The typical worries of work, rent and play all collide as millions of people shuffle through the underground subway maze and gridlock traffic. The amount of yoga studios, gyms, bars and Pilate's centers has spiked over the past few years given way to places of healing for those operating in NYC's aggressive environment.


The one thing that NYC will never fall short of is bars, parties and restaurants. These places give way to escapism through overpriced alcoholic beverages and an insta-friend society. We start attracting people who are running from something or hiding dark behaviors behind a presented self, not the real person. We drown our troubles in the gospel of whiskey, and befriend those with similar problems. Though I enjoy a good drink and cigar, anything that serves to distract one from their real issues is a problem. If you can't function without mind altering substances, you're caught up in a lifestyle of escapism.  At first glance, the party lifestyle can appear glamorous, until you start to realize the toll it takes on your wallet, and your well-being. Why can't you meet quality people? Why are you stuck in the same job? Why do you feel like crap everyday?



We first must understand the pattern of our behaviors and what we're doing to cope with them. This is not an anti-alcohol article, so much as a tool to help you recognize your patterns of dealing with stressful situations. As soon as you leave your house in NYC you're being sold 10 different things, the majority of which are detrimental to your well being. How do you protect your sanity?

Mindfulness: Being mindful of what bothers or depresses you. It's usually a trigger like a shitty relationship, a stressful job, maybe the state of the world in general. The 1st line of defense is the awareness of psychological triggers.

Consider your options: New York City has many options that act as potential alternatives. I've found that if you want to meet new people with similar interests, then look to group activities. The presence of like-minded individuals leads to external accountability, making you more inclined to hold yourself accountable.

Action: Set the appointment, close the deal. Make a decision and stick to it! I also suggest doing things after work to get used to breaking up your daily routine. Taking action is the heartbeat of change.

Commit: This is the hardest thing to do. I've found that putting your goals on a calendar (annoying reminders), establishing accountability partners, and simply writing your goals down pave the way towards a great transformation. A firm commitment rooted in action and mindfulness can go a long way.

As we enter into a New Year, lets get motivated to make positive lifestyle changes and be honest with ourselves. I think anything can be enjoyed in moderation and mindfulness. My time as a party promoter and brand ambassador for a popular liquor company has shown me how deep we are willing to go to escape our realities. I challenge all of you to take action and be mindful of your lifestyle choices and enjoy them!

Article by: Michael McConnell of Indigo 11 Group