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National Panic Day: Where New Yorkers can relax

March 9 is National Panic Day. Given the general state of anxiety in NYC, there's no shortage of places where New Yorkers can celebrate panicking.

Here at amNewYork, we've instead rounded up the places we go to relieve our anxiety. Did we miss anywhere? Where do you go to relax?

As a resident of an outer-borough, I have
Photo Credit: Flickr/momentcaptured1

As a resident of an outer-borough, I have access to places that are actually quiet. In Queens, there are spots to hang out under the bridges, such as the rocks under the Hellgate in Astoria and the dead-end streets under the Whitestone, that are peaceful. We also have parks with wooded trails, my favorites being Cunningham Park and Kissena Park, that I can take my dog hiking in, which tires me out and clears my head. However, I do also like to go for walks in Manhattan, weather permitting. Sometimes being a part of the energy on the avenues shows me that I’m just one of 8 million people in this city alone, and my life and problems aren't really that significant. Or I look at people who are enjoying the day with their friends, lunch-dates or coworkers and it reminds me there's more to life than whatever is bothering me that day. -- Heather Senison

My go-to calming mechanism in NYC is getting
Photo Credit: INSTAGRAM/PaintboxNails

My go-to calming mechanism in NYC is getting a mani/pedi. It’s a chance to do nothing for a half hour or so and just sit back, zone out or read a magazine. The music’s calming, the manicurists are pleasant and you can spring for a back massage, too, if you like. To chill out without having to cough up cash, I like to lace up and walk my dog to Fort Greene Park. We both get some exercise, sun and get some peace and quiet at a beautiful park. -- Meredith Deliso

I’ve lived in the city my entire life
Photo Credit: NYC Parks and Recreation

I’ve lived in the city my entire life and over the last few years had few “super panic” moments, but for those times my go to destination would be to the closest greenspace. I grew up next to Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and any time I’d get really anxious I’d head there and take in the fresh air and open space for as long as I needed to. Now I live to Prospect Park, which is has a bigger crowd, but also suffices when I need to clear my head and move forward. -- Ivan Pereira

I go to the bar. Preferably one that’s
Photo Credit: Google

I go to the bar. Preferably one that’s playing Sinatra. -- Pete Catapano

To calm down I go to my apartment
Photo Credit: Linda Rosier

To calm down I go to my apartment because it is a sanctuary of comfort. It has good light and a formal dining room. My cat Sandwich is there, always. It is often clean because my husband likes things tidy. It's perfect. -- Georgia Kral

It recently dawned on me that whenever I'm
Photo Credit: Bloomberg/ Paul Goguen

It recently dawned on me that whenever I'm feeling panicked while walking through the streets of Manhattan, I find myself at the same place: Eataly. Yes, it's overcrowded, loud, expensive-- anything but zen-- but taking a lap around, browsing the products and hearing Italian spoken reminds me of simpler times in Italy. It reminds me that not everywhere is as crazy as NYC and puts my life into perspective for the moment. And if that doesn't work, well, there's easy access to gelato, wine and pizza... what more could a panicking Italian need? -- Nina Ruggiero

As a New Yorker, I obviously suffer from
Photo Credit: Getty Images

As a New Yorker, I obviously suffer from all the usual anxiety problems. Money, career, dying alone, roaches, being crushed to death in a mob of teenage One Direction fans, a new social media network becoming popular that I have never heard of--just to name a few that are printable. While my normal place to let out my panic is the subway (I can't imagine there's anyone who regularly rides the N/Q trains who haven't seen me cry at some point--don't worry, fellow straphangers, I'm just panicking over life), my calm places are the Strand and Barnes and Noble. Since my general preferences are (in this order) books > coffee > cats> people, there is no better way to calm down than to walk the stacks with a cup of coffee. I usually end up purchasing a book, which usually brings me right back around to money panic within in a few hours. But then something like this happens, which really happened just a few weeks ago at the Barnes and Noble on 3rd Ave. and 54th St. Salesperson: "Are you studying journalism?" Me: "I AM a journalist." Salesperson: "Are you a student at NYU? 'The Journalist and the Murderer' is at our Union Square location." I was smiling for hours and felt less panicked about life than I would after an hour of therapy (if I could afford therapy, that is). BRB, I think National Panic Day is the perfect time to go to the bookstore, no? -- Caroline Linton

I really do not ever panic as I
Photo Credit: iStock

I really do not ever panic as I have found emotion just gets in the way of solving whatever problem you’re trying to solve. My “place of calm” is in my own brain. If you’re depending on external environmental factors to confer calmness in NYC, you are in for a lot of anxiety unless you’re wealthy enough to jet away at will.

I couldn’t believe I was awarded my PADI scuba diving certification, despite screwing up epically on a test dive in some murky Pennsylvania quarry. I completely messed up the compass navigation segment and wound up surfacing far from where I was supposed to be.

"What would I have to do to fail – stab the instructor with a spear gun?" I asked.

"No matter what happened – losing your visibility, losing your mask - you never panicked!” said the teacher. "That’s one of the things we’re testing for: So we’re going to pass you."

Really, why succumb to a sensation that is so counterproductive?

Even if I’m about to die, I’d rather do so calmly, marveling at the wonder of it all. -- Sheila Anne Feeney


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