L.A., I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down

How to take a break from your city...when you can’t go anywhere.

L.A., I Love You, but You’re Bringing Me Down
Los Angeles, it’s not you. It’s me. I get incredibly frustrated in bumper-to-bumper traffic. I feel the need to scrub my face of smoke after walking around downtown. I can’t find a shred of blissful sleep with police sirens screeching past my window every single night. OK, maybe it is you. Don’t get me wrong, you have plenty of redeeming qualities (hello, beach city!), but sometimes I need a break. And whether you’re in New York, Boston, or London, I know you sometimes need a little distance, too. Don’t have the PTO saved up, or just don’t want to shell out the big bucks for a large-scale vacation? Deep breaths, everyone. Here’s how we maintain our sanity without actually going anywhere.



Let me put this out there: I love skin care and body products. Love em. You couldn’t pry my boscia Black Mask from my cold, dead hands. Coupled with a nice essential-oil-infused bubble bath? Or some candles? Maybe even some ambient rain-forest noises playing off my iPhone in the background? Heaven. Whether your DIY spa day means exfoliating your stresses away (with the help of Herbivore’s Coco Rose Body Polish, of course) or giving yourself a pedicure, take the day to do some major R&R, and reap the squeaky-clean benefits the rest of the week.


If you really want to treat yo self, go for the real deal and book an appointment at a spa. Most have a number of services, from the typical massages, facials, and nail care, to relaxation rituals, vitamin-rich body treatments, and full-body waxes at a range of prices. We may not know what exactly a Phyto-Organic Marine Facial is, but that doesn’t mean we want it any less. These places are designed to take you away from the strains of your daily go-abouts and thus make you feel like you’re anywhere but where you are.


Reserve this one for a day without plans (like that at-home spa day). There’s just something about breakfast in bed that makes even a bowl of Cheerios feel luxurious—never mind something sumptuous, like scones or Belgian waffles. If you’re willing to go all out, prepare the night before by washing your sheets and hitting the pillow in your most comfortable pjs. And set out a bathrobe to maximize the resort vibe. Turn off your alarm, stretch your limbs, and feel free to slip back under the covers for a nap once you’re done feasting.


Who said date night was solely for fancy restaurants and going to the movies? When your significant other is the only other person you can stand to have around, it is perfectly acceptable to hole up on the couch, order takeout, and binge-watch Stranger Things (because duh). Have a good rant about traffic and work and bad drivers and traffic, because at the end of it all they’ll still love you anyway. Maybe they’ll even show that love with a back rub...


Depending on where you live, you may not need to go that far to get away for a day (or four). For L.A., that means island-hopping to the Channels or Catalina. For New York, that could be a day trip to Long Beach. For a fraction of what it would cost to, say, cruise around the Caribbean, you could be just as stress-free. If you close your eyes and sip a piña colada, it’s almost like you’re in Barbados anyway.


If all of the above have failed you and you feel there’s no other way, you can always quit your job, buy a ticket, and see the world. Maybe if you need to escape your city *that badly*, you should consider living somewhere else. Really! See if you can relocate with your job, or take a full-fledged vacation after all. I hear Turks & Caicos is stunning.

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