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Washington D.C. can take its toll on its residents. Don’t get me wrong, it’s an amazing place to live, but it can also be a difficult one, particularly for couples. There are several reasons for this, but ultimately it’s the stresses associated with living in the metropolitan area of Northern Virginia, Maryland, and the greater D.C. area that can weigh on our mental health.

If you are currently living in the DMV and need some extra support, The Ross Center has some excellent psychiatrists in Northern Virginia. Their team of highly qualified, caring psychiatrists, therapists, and psychologists have years of experience and are ready to help you and your family.

In addition to seeking help with mental health struggles, there are a few things to help keep your well-being in a better state when living in the great Washington D.C. area. If you and your partner are both less stressed and taking care of your emotional and mental health, you will be stronger as a couple. Make sure to take these tips to heart to keep yourself and your partner happy and focused on the romance.

1. Learn to love not driving a car.

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One of the biggest stressors of living in a major city is traffic. More people in a smaller area trying to get from place to place all at the same time create jams that are frustrating and exhausting. Sitting in traffic isn’t a pleasant activity to engage in. Luckily, most cities, D.C. included, have a pretty good public transportation system. Reducing stress and helping out with your mental health can mean parking your car for a while. Try walking if you are close enough, riding a bike, or utilizing the Metro or bus.

2. Make reservations when you can.

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This might seem like a minor issue, but little things can add up. With the high-density population of the DMV, a lot of your favorite brunch and dinner spots will fill up quickly. Searching for the right place to eat can become a taxing endeavor if you don’t do a little prep work. And if you are doing the research and effort, many other people will be as well. Don’t let your energies be in vain, make a reservation so you can enjoy that five-star place you’ve been wanting to try.

3. Quit the happy hour scene.

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Drinking is a great way to meet someone or to let off steam at the end of a long workday. However, if you’ve already met that special someone, it might be a good idea to enjoy that nightcap at home instead of hitting the bars. This can be a tricky thing to do, especially in areas like the DMV. Socializing for work, stress relief, and even habit can all contribute to why you continue to make it to happy hour. Be aware that your mental health might suffer if you continue to overdo a good thing. You don’t have to stop going to these gatherings entirely, but try to add in a soda or other non-alcoholic beverage to your routine. You won’t miss anything important and you will feel better, both mentally and physically for it.

4. Considering your housing options carefully.

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This is similar to picking your transportation carefully and will impact how you get around the area. Deciding whether to live in the heart of the city or in the suburbs will impact your quality of life and how you feel on a daily basis. Do you intend to become more than just a couple? Northern Virginia has some beautiful areas to live in, but they do come with a price tag. Think about your budget, needs, and come to a realistic option.

5. Plan some mini-vacations.

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If you decide to get engaged, you’ll want it to be a romantic scene that you never forget. The good news is that there are some great places to get engagement rings Northern Virginia, and some gorgeous places to head to for a long weekend trip away. Within 100 miles of Northern Virginia are some of the most beautiful landscapes in the mid-Atlantic. Not only will your mental health benefit, but you can work on strengthening your relationship and just focus on the two of you.

These considerations will help lower your stress levels, but if you need to help with mental health issues, don’t hesitate to contact the Ross Center if you live in the greater DMV region.

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