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12 Things Only People Who’ve Ever Lived In Small Towns Would Understand

12 Things Only People Who’ve Ever Lived In Small Towns Would Understand

City dwellers often complain about their metropolitan lifestyles: The roads are too crowded, the apartments are too expensive, and the green spaces are few and far between. At some point, most urbanites daydream about moving to a small town — but if they ever do, they are in for a huge surprise. People from small towns know all too well that tight-knit communities come with their own unique set of problems that city dwellers will never be prepared for. Here are 12 problems small town people are too familiar with.

1. You Know Everyone Around

In a small town, you get to know your neighbors on an intimate level. Even in a town of a few thousand, it isn’t hard to recognize nearly everyone by face, if not by name and favorite ice cream flavor. You get used to being friendly with those around you.

2. So Smiling and Waving Becomes a Habit

You probably don’t notice how frequently you smile, wave, and make eye contact until you move out of your town and into the city. City-dwelling strangers are more often put off by your friendly behavior than enchanted by it, and you likely receive plenty of confused expressions — as well as some downright irritated responses.

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3. You Never Meet Anyone From Home

When you finally venture outside your town, you should expect hundreds of questions about where you are from. Inevitably, when you answer, you will get hundreds of blank stares. No one knows about your small town, and you just have to get used to it.

4. Except the Super Weird Times You Do

Still, every once in a while you will meet one person who knows about your small town. Usually, that person grew up in some town or city nearby, but you might even encounter the only other person from your small town to escape. It will feel surprising and strange at first, but you should embrace that person as friend and confidante.

5. You Never Have Anywhere to Go

Small towns usually aren’t known for their active nightlife. When you grow up in a small town, you get used to the fact that there are no sensible places for young people to congregate besides home and school.

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6. So Going Out Becomes a Beloved Pastime

Fortunately, there are miles of empty roads just waiting to be explored. In a big city, driving around aimlessly is equal parts boring and dangerous, but in small towns, joyrides are perhaps the most thrilling nighttime activity there is to enjoy. You roll down the windows, turn up the tunes, and drive.

7. You Don’t Know About Chain Stores

You are more often than not confused by the frequent news stories anticipating the death of the small business, because small business is basically all you have. Everything from the hardware store to the grocery store (the only two stores in town, really) is owned locally; your shopping opportunities are so limited that most newcomers have to transfer credit cards because shops don’t accept every type.

8. Until One Invades the Town and Causes Equal Amounts of Excitement and Distress

You remember the day Chipotle came to your town. There were lines down the block for weeks. Then all the small business owners in town agonized over the safety of their shops and restaurants, and the hubbub died down.

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9. You Never Escape Past Relationships

It seems that everyone knows when you are dating, but everyone has an outrageously hard time remembering that you broke up. You will forever get questions regarding past partners, and worse, you will regularly see those partners everywhere you go. Closure is particularly hard to attain in such close quarters.

10. And Dating Your Ex’s Friend or Your Friend’s Ex Is the Only Option

Your high school graduating class was fewer than 100 people, which means you were fishing in a disturbingly small pond. Any potential partner you seek within town is going to have close connections with your ex, whether you like it or not. In small towns, the bro code does not apply.

11. You Always Dream of Moving Away

You habitually count down the years (and months, weeks, days, and minutes) until you are a full-fledged adult, free to fly to the big city of your choosing. You will live in a sophisticated area, visit cosmopolitan places, and meet exciting people. You hate your small town so much it hurts.

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12. Until You Finally Do And You Miss Your Town Terribly

Yet, it hurts to leave, too. The big city certainly does offer more opportunity to learn and grow, but your small town is home, and it always will be.

Featured photo credit: Kecko via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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