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7 Ways to Stay Grounded in the Craziness of the City

July 24, 2015

Free People August Magalog 2015 Carlen Altman 2

Having lived in New York City my whole life, you would think I would be used to all the noise, crowds and mysterious smells of the city, but alas, it is still very difficult to take it all in.

Up until very recently, I would often feel overwhelmed by my surroundings, while others were out socializing on a Friday night, I would be home lying in the fetal position, reading books with titles like The Highly Sensitive Adult or Guide To Raising Rabbits (which are two great books, by the way) I used to often romanticize packing up and escaping the grit and grime of New York without telling a soul and moving to the woods by myself with a menagerie of pets – perhaps maybe even learning how to play the didgeridoo (why not?).

The thing is, I know myself and I know I would soon get bored in the woods and start romanticizing the very same city I just left – not to mention, if I actually left without a trace, I know my friends and family would be at least a little concerned (hopefully).

So what is a compromise between living in the city and hiding in seclusion in a forest?

Trying to make my New York City life as tranquil and forest-like as possible!

Here are some steps I have slowly figured out for living in a big city but make your life feel like a calm tranquil experience.

7 Ways to Stay Grounded in the Craziness of the City

1. Wake up early (ugh, I know).

Waking up early gives you more time in your day and despite the glorious feeling of your comforter, it is so worth it. I have been waking up two hours earlier than I used to every morning and it has changed my life. I now have more time to do the following things below…

2. Sit in nature as much as possible.

It doesn’t have to be a cliff overlooking a waterfall, even sitting in your local park, or under a tree can help relax you. There is scientific proof to back this up.

3. Meditate in the mornings and before bed.

You can learn how to meditate at The David Lynch Foundation, or Google it and you will find all sorts of resources.

4. When walking through the city, avoid the main avenues where the crowds are.

I always walk on the side streets where I won’t be overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city, and I’ve found I am so much calmer walking places now.

5. Decorate your home with natural objects, such as plants, crystals, and stones.

Coming home will be so much more positive of an experience, despite what may be going on outside.

6. If your living situation permits, get a pet!

I live with a pet rabbit and a hissing cockroach and they are two of my best friends. Just make sure you have the time and space to commit to them.

7. Make your house smell nice with incense or candles, preferably beeswax.

Gain 3 more tips from Carlin Alterman in Free People’s August Magalog. 


About Free People’s August Magalog: 

Launching on 8/3, Free People’s August Magalog is the third edition in an ongoing series for the brand. Featuring 4 editorial shoots starring Anja Rubik, Phoebe Tonkin, and Drake Burnette, alongside a look into the first FP Escapes adventure and other features by the likes of artist Cleo Wade, hairstylist Amy Farid, The Sunday Times Style Editor Pandora Sykes, and Honestly WTF blogger Lauren Kolodny, among others, the brand plans to further delve into the editorial world by merging fashion, art, travel, music, and everything in between in issues to come.


Free People is a specialty clothing brand featuring the latest contemporary trends and vintage collections for twenties-something women who live free through fashion, art, music, and travel. Quality apparel, shoes and accessories invoke attributes of femininity, spirit, and creativity with a bohemian design.

About Carlin Alterman (Pictured):
Hi! My name is Carlen. I do a bunch of random things including writing, making movies, performing standup comedy, and running my own jewelry company.