Have you ever watched Grace and Frankie, the Netflix Original show?
I have, and while I’m well aware of how loosely millennials use the word “obsessed”, I can’t deny that I’m pretty much OBSESSED with the show!
Well, I’d say that I’m less obsessed with the show than I am with one of the characters; Frankie. I like to think of her as my spirit animal!
I mean, minus her extremist left-wing views, seismophobic behaviours and liberal drug usage. But all that is her green living, earthing, organic, free-spirited nature… I’m totally feeling it.
Frankie singularly and holistically embodies all that is the left brained, west coast, liberal, creative. And I l-o-v-e it!
I think we’ve all got a pretty good grasp on east vs west coast living in terms of lifestyle, right?
East coast = high strung, 9-5, fast walking. Head straight to work, do not make eye contact, do not collect, do not pass Go…
East Coast – think Toronto, New York, Boston, Chicago
West coast = laid back, mindful, calm, zen, work at your own pace kinds of vibes.
West Coast – think Vancouver, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco
As a marketing professional who happens to work on the East Coast, I so easily fall victim to living and breathing the lifestyle every day. Though, more and more, as the hustle and bustle of the city rises, so can our stress levels.
I also happen to travel a fair bit for work, to both coasts of North America. And whenever I hit the West Coast, I can spot the difference in stress levels and lifestyles instantly.
Why are East Coasters so much more stressed?!
I mean, the stress of East Coast living is NOT worth it. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that we’re the only ones who are stressed. But why is the difference in lifestyle between coasts so apparent?!
I think that as humans, we adapt.
Be it to our surroundings, our circumstances, or even our work environments. We all learn to survive and thrive in whatever environment we’re in. Just think of the city structure of Toronto or New York, and the sheer volume of people within the square footage.
There are more cooks in the kitchen on the east coast, plain and simple. Ergo, less room to breathe, more people to manage, and higher stress levels.
Approaching an East Coast life with a West Coast Vibe.
I’ve spoken a lot about stress, more specifically coping with stress through meditation and mindfulness. And while adapting to our environments may be human nature, falling victim to stress doesn’t have to be.
Think of the open roads, the nature, the ocean breeze and the forestation that the west coast brings. Sure, all of those things have been argued (re: proven) to help reduce stress, so have activities such as earthing, meditation, and yoga.
For more on earthing, see this article I <3 by goop: Earthing: How Walking Barefoot Could Cure Your Insomnia & More
There are numerous ways of coping with and reducing stress. Something I find myself doing constantly to not get caught up with the east coast life, is removing myself, and slowing down.
Granted, this is a lot easier in the warmer months when you easily retreat on a bike ride out of the city to the Toronto Islands or High Park to surround yourself with nature. But activities like yoga and meditation don’t require any displacement at all.
There’s this maxim I live by; “Think. Slow Down. Think.”
Ultimately, no matter how many cooks there may be in the kitchen, or people crowding the streets and subways on your way to work, if you take a step back, think, slow down, think, you’ll afford yourself clarity of mind. And ultimately be adopting a more west coast approach to dealing with whatever may be on your east coast plate.
Talking about stress shouldn’t be taboo! I want to know what techniques you have or what you do to cope with stress.
The more we talk openly about it, the more people can learn to live more balanced lives. Inspired by Nick is an open forum, so share your thoughts with me in the comment box below!
Nick Joly | Inspired by Nick