“When your mental health isn’t in the best state, give yourself a break.”
When it comes to promoting better mental wellness, oftentimes, we hear a lot about doing “mind work.” While working on your thought habits is imperative for good mental health, it is important to not forget that the environment also has a tremendous impact on mental health. This is evident in how we feel in big cities versus rural areas, green neighborhoods versus concrete neighborhoods, and food accessibility versus food deserts.
Our environment is integral to our well-being. It influences how well we put our mind work to practice. There’s only so much you can do in your head. Factors such as healthy lifestyles, work habits, and a full night’s rest influenced by our environment, determine our level of mental health. Where you decide to live is one of the largest factors composed of different variables.
Here is where to look if you’re searching for cities where your mental health can flourish.
10. Santa Rosa, CA
9. Fort Collins, CO
8. Irvine, CA
7. Alexandria, VA
6. Bellevue, WA
5. San Francisco, CA
4. Fermont, CA
3. Seattle, WA
2. Pasadena, CA
1. Naperville, IL
When it came to selecting these cities, there were a variety of factors to consider. Mental health is impacted by numerous facets of lifestyle and simply living. When examining the attributes of cities that promote mental wellness there is much to consider. A few of the factors included in LawnStarter’s ranking were fitness, wellness, and suburban life.
As the cost of living continues to rise, many have retreated into the suburbs. Money may not buy happiness, but it can provide other assurances that foster happiness, such as therapy, shelter, and mindful activities. In the top five of the best cities for mental wellness, you’ll find similar rankings of high financial wellness, low poor mental health in adults, low divorce rates, and a high ratio of therapists to residents.
Fitness has been shown to have a positive impact on one’s mental health. It’s a great supplement when you cannot immediately invest in mental health services. Many of the best cities not only have a high rate of access to mental health professionals but also physical wellness. The most underrated activity is rest. Overworking and limited sleep can have a detrimental impact on your mental and physical health.
The west coast is known for being laidback and maintaining a chill lifestyle and this west coast wellness allowed west coast cities to dominate in their mental health ranking. Mindful activities like yoga, meditation, and hiking are popular. Such activities and others help balance hormones, reduce anxiety, and improve cognitive functioning.
The ranking also maintained points of consideration of adult overall mental health, availability to a therapist, health insurance coverage, access to green space, and historical average sunshine. Did you also notice that none of the best cities were popular big cities with large populations? Cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago hold high rates of poverty, unemployment, long work hours, financial frailty, substance abuse, poor health, and low access to mental health support.
It is important to keep in mind that your environment does have an influence on your mental well-being. Notice how environmental factors affect achieving a healthy lifestyle. No city is perfect, but if you find a city that speaks to you and supports the healthy lifestyle you desire, you can find a place to live or even visit that supports your mental health.