Millennials are migrating to the suburbs in droves. The latest Census Bureau data cited by The New York Times show that “25- to 29-year-olds are about a quarter more likely to move from the city to the suburbs as vice versa; older millennials are more than twice as likely.”
The suburbs do offer many alluring benefits, like backyards, closets, better school districts, and a Disney-esque array of deer and squirrels. However, they are less amenable to millennials. The everyday wellness habits young urbanites may take for granted – like walking everywhere, having a gym a few blocks away, and ample healthy lunch options around every corner– disappear once you leave the city limits. The idyllic image of peaceful picket fences you had imagined suddenly becomes clouded with stressful to-do’s.
Fear not. Here are some ways to stay healthy, relaxed, and stress-free after taking the leap to the greener pastures of the ‘burbs.
Stressor: Less walkability
City dwellers love to walk everywhere. More and more city residents are going car-free, and almost everything is within walking or biking distance. Not to mention, if public transit runs into inevitable delays, you end up emerging from the underground and hoofing it anyway. By the time you leave work, it’s likely that you’ve already achieved your 10,000 daily steps on FitBit. This often eliminates the need to schedule an hour on the treadmill, because you walk on a daily basis. What happens when you move to the suburbs, where you might not even enjoy the luxury of sidewalks or bike lanes? That step count is in danger of dropping dramatically – unless you do something about it.
Solution: Go for a stroll in the park
Suburban neighborhoods are typically located within close proximity to parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, and walking/running trails. Sure, you’ll have to build this time into your daily schedule – rather than naturally walking on the way to work, like you did in the city – but the fresh air and foliage will be a welcome change of scenery. Choose semi-rural routes for your workout routine located away from highways and roads (and the fumes of cars and trucks).
Stressor: Driver’s seat aches and pains
According to researchers at the University of Connecticut and the University of Colorado, a lack of public transportation options in suburban areas causes people to spend nearly 18% more time driving. This increased time behind the wheel can contribute to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and back problems. And, of course, the stress of being stuck in traffic doesn’t help. By the time you get home from commuting on the highway, you may be too frazzled to even cook dinner or binge Stranger Things on Netflix, let alone de-stress properly.
Solution: Get an in-home massage
While they won’t shorten your commute, in-home massage services from Zeel can ease the day’s stress as well as lower cortisol hormone levels that lead to belly fat. And the obvious benefit of treating back pain and soreness can’t be ignored. Plus, Zeel massages can be booked for start times as late as 10:30pm, so you don’t have to worry about schlepping back and forth to a spa after you’ve already made the arduous commute home.
Stressor: Feeling far away from everything
Suburbs are separated from the city by design. However, the same distance that appealed to your desire for peace and quiet can quickly turn into feeling sequestered. Where are all my friends, and why don’t they visit me anymore? Why can’t I push the stroller to the supermarket? You mean I have to drive to the gym just to use an exercise bike? If you’re a city lover who appreciates the proximity to entertainment and nightlife, moving to the ‘burbs can make you feel detached from everyday necessities.
Solution: On-demand services
There’s now an endless arsenal of on-demand services that can deliver everything you need, right to your suburban household. Don’t have time to shop for groceries at your local megamart? Meal kit providers like Blue Apron offer a recipe for happiness. Need a glass of red to go with that tasty meal? Winc is a subscription wine club that ships bottles all over the U.S. Don’t feel like driving to the movie theater? Netflix is your prescription for a cozy night in. Want to stay fit, but don’t have a gym nearby? Get a Peloton bike equipped with streaming in-home cycling classes, or try working out to one of Tone It Up’s guided exercise videos. And of course, if you’re a fan of massage therapy on a regular basis, Zeel offers the world’s first and (as of this writing) the only in-home, on-demand massage membership – up to 20% off all massages, cancel anytime.
Marcy is the SVP of People and Communications at Zeel. In addition to overseeing the humans of Zeel, Marcy has written about workplace topics for more than 20 years both at Zeel and as VP of Content for Vault.com, a career information web site and publisher.