For anyone who hasn’t been there yet, Los Angeles is more like its own country with unique weather patterns than just another city environment. It’s truly expansive and diverse in landscape, people and the range of activities that are popular too.
Living in LA often means spending a considerable amount of time in your car getting from A to B. Anyone who doesn’t like their private time interspersed with spurts of sociable people mingling together and taking a selfie for good measure, will find it tough to live happily there.
If you are looking at living in Los Angeles, we have produced a useful guide broken down into sections like how to take care of yourself; how to avoid burn out; how to handle friendships/relationships better; how to make driving more pleasant; and how to get more out of your home environment.
Also, it’s worth noting that while our focus is on LA, our suggestions below are often applicable to elsewhere in the country too. So, if you’re not on the west coast right now, don’t feel left out – there will definitely be something in this handy guide for you.
It’s hard to get away from the focus on image in LA. With Hollywood nearby, and a strong focus on looking your best and uploading the latest selfies (with filters applied) to Instagram, it can take up a lot of your time if you’re not careful.
Nevertheless, while this section is entitled “Self-care,” we’re really thinking of it more from the perspective of how to be happier with yourself without trying to please others.
a healthy self image
Right now, there’s a tendency in the rest of the country to move away from everyone needing to be slim and looking their best. Indeed, in the body shame stakes, there are many who are trying to suggest that being fat or obese is beautiful and healthy and right.
By contrast, in LA, there’s almost an addiction to body image, looking incredible and toned and slim. Anyone who isn’t tends to feel out of place! So, what is correct? It’s not necessary to be a doctor or a fitness trainer to apply common sense to the situation.
We should all be comfortable in our own skin and confident within ourselves (or, at least, work towards this worthy goal). From a health perspective, the slimmer and fitter we are, the better for us. Being obese is an unhealthy way to live. Conversely, being underweight, addicted to exercise or not eating enough is almost as bad. Both can be dangerous for you.
finding a balance
Find a balance in life when it comes to being healthy and fit. We should all be doing some exercise most days of the week. Usually aiming for 4-5 days of reasonable activity (at least half an hour daily) is a minimum to aim for. More is better, but also don’t overdo it and give yourself an injury. That will only set you back. Choose physical activities that you enjoy. That doesn’t mean rushing off to the nearest gym and signing up for a year. If you find playing tennis enjoyable, get a tennis partner to play with regularly. If you enjoy swimming in an outdoor pool, put in the laps.
Contrary to what people think – it’s not a competition! Staying fit can be maintained weekly with some consistency. Losing weight is harder and will take determination, but it too can be achieved by being more careful about eating healthfully, skipping late night snacking and fast food, and making exercise part of your new lifestyle.
avoid bouncing from one health fad to another
This may be an “LA thing,” but bouncing from one health fad to another is quite common. As an article in GQ Magazine recently demonstrated, chasing “the cult of betterness” isn’t always better than taking sensible actions and following a well thought out plan to achieve your health, fitness or mental health goals.
Stick to what makes sense at a fundamental level to avoid being led astray by fads, especially in Las Angeles where selling fantasy as reality is straight out of Hollywood.
friendships & relationships
With friendships, these are meaningful because hopefully these people have been with you for some time and can be relied upon.
Sometimes, it’s helpful to test a friendship to see whether they are “fair weather friends” or ones who’ll be there through thick and thin. Waiting too late to know that can be painful. By devoting more time to your best friendships, you’ll feel supported and better able to tackle life’s challenges.
A word here about negative people: Not every friendship is a positive one. If you were previously a negative person or depressed and tended to collect likeminded friends at that time (birds of a feather flock together), then you may have people still in your life who are toxic. If they continually bring in negativity and are rarely positive about you or what you’re doing, it may be time to cut ties in favor of other friends who are encouraging and uplifting for your present and future happiness.
Relationships can have a massive effect on your happiness. In terms of self-improvement, it’s best to have a partner who supports personal or shared goals to improve your life in different ways. If they’re openly critical or negative about change, then that’s a warning sign that they may be holding you back.
When you have a partner who is outgoing, positive and supports your personal or professional goals, then they may make a great life partner. Equally, you should be that type of person for them too.
When thinking about relationships, if he or she makes your life a happier or better one for being in it, then that’s a very good sign. Should the opposite be true, think hard whether the relationship is worth continuing. You cannot find a better person for you if you’re already in a relationship. Or, at least, most of the time that’s the case, and long-lasting relationships don’t tend to last when they were started when currently with someone else.
on the move
Commuting to work, running errands and traveling on vacation to a neighboring state usually involve journeys in your car. Speaking for LA specifically, sitting in traffic because the antiquated infrastructure hasn’t seen many upgrades over the decades, is unavoidable! The same is often true of other major cities across the country too. It’s up to you to make your life better despite the traffic woes.
Continuous Learning vs Mindless Morning Talk Shows
It’s very tempting to turn on the local or national morning radio show and drift off while stuck in traffic. Don’t! If your commute is 30 minutes or longer (for most of us, it is), this represents vital time when you can be enjoying learning something valuable and not listening to a morning talk show host filling in time between commercials.
See if your public library rents out audiobook CDs which you can play in your car. Alternatively, sign up for a trial with Amazon’s Audible platform where you can listen to some excellent self-help books very inexpensively. Beyond self-help specifically, there are business education books and other good ones too.
Consider loading up a YouTube video on a topic that you’re interested in and playing that through your car’s speaker system by hooking up your smartphone. Also, podcasts are plentiful on a myriad of subjects to learn about new and interesting subjects while making your way to and from work or running errands.
Use Traffic Information to Avoid the Worse of the Road Jams
Get traffic reports from a mobile app that will alert you about accidents, reports about dangerous spills on the road and other things to avoid. This is another reason why morning radio has become unnecessary – traffic reports arrive faster through these apps and are filtered to your local area. Apps like Mauritius Traffic Alert, Waze, and INRIX Traffic Maps & GPS (available for both iOS and Android) can provide relevant news, maps and route planning to shorten your journey. Most of the apps report information in real-time and cover entire cities, including the major ones like LA, NYC, Seattle, etc.
You can either create separate lists for different parts of town or apply labels to tasks added, so they can be sorted more easily. Find a way that is easiest for you to knock out tasks while you’re in that part of the city to avoid having to return more often because you forgot something.
Shop Online to Reduce Extra Journeys
Knock items off your list by ordering them online. If you can batch them through a single delivery with Amazon, they can be delivered to your workplace and brought home. Doing this in an organized fashion can drastically reduce how many errands you need to do, giving you back some of your evenings or part of the weekend. Less stress, more enjoyment…
the home enviroment
With your home environment, look for improvements that will make your life better. That’s sometimes quite personal and individual – don’t feel you have to act on every suggestion from well-meaning friends.
Set Up for Relaxation
Your home needs to be set up in a way to create an oasis when away from work. This is especially true on the weekends when recharging from a hectic week is essential to perform at your best when back at the office on Monday.
The best way to do this is to sit down and think about what kind of environment you want to live in. This is personal to each of us. For example, maybe you’re big on entertaining and enjoy the outdoor space most of all? In which case, tidying up the back yard, replacing tatty patio furniture with something more comfortable and getting a state-of-the-art BBQ might hit the spot perfectly.
Also, look indoors to remove the clutter where rooms don’t feel spacious enough. Go a little bit more on the minimalist side of things to create space for free movement, creativity and pleasure.
Reducing a dependence on an electric supply not only feels good but saves money in the long run too. For instance, a solar tax credit Los Angeles based is something that a homeowner can look into to avoid taking out a loan to get a set of Panasonic solar panels installed. Semper Solaris, a Veteran owned business, stocks different sizes of panels and popular brands to configure the right kind of installation for different home sizes. When it comes to the best solar installation Los Angeles area, their friendly approach, quality fitting and affordable pricing makes them a trustworthy service to use. You can look here for more information about what Semper Solaris offer.
Of course, solar power works extremely well in the sunnier states. The panels themselves are now very efficient at harnessing the power of the sun as the technology has matured over the past few years. The return on the investment is faster because more energy is created and stored in battery banks for later use. Even on overcast days, it’s still possible to collect some solar power.
While living in Los Angeles has its challenges, that is true of any major metropolis. We each have to find the best ways that suit our personality and sensibilities to make life more pleasant. Sometimes, this means removing problems and simplifying whereas other times, adding variety and satisfying a thirst for knowledge make a huge difference. Self-improvement at all levels, after all, is a personal journey, and what’s right for you is unique too.