photo: Katja Stückrath.
Everyday life in Berlin is often compared to a very forgiving journey into the uncharted depths of your own identity and Berliners aren’t exactly known for keeping their promises. That might be one reason why New Year’s resolutions tend to fall into the same category as the signs prohibiting alcohol consumption on the U-Bahn – we are aware of them. To a varying extent.
But New Year’s resolutions don’t actually have to be these dreamed-up, unrealistic visions. We came up with 5 examples of positive change and some practical advice on how you could try implementing them into your Berlin life.
Get that (FKK) Beach Body
A relaxed attitude towards nudity in public might be one of the very few German characteristics that are being truly embraced in Berlin. If you haven’t noticed that yet, you probably didn’t go out. Or used a sauna. Or unknowingly stepped onto an FKK beach in the summer. The point is: most Berliners are very comfortable with their bodies, and while obviously no exercise is needed to arrive at this state of mind, the sudden rise in unexpected opportunities to legally strip in public made me want to stay in (some kind of) shape.
Apart from Berlin’s many gyms, there’s a thriving yoga scene for which our expert Claudio has written a detailed introduction. A good motivation to keep up with your training schedule may be signing up for one of the numerous runs organized in the city – some events are listed here.
Quit smoking (at least in places where it might bother others)
No, I can’t really imagine a smoke-free Berlin. But the longer I’m here, the less I’m convinced that it’s one of these bad boy habits I need to be surrounded by. The absence of smoke-free areas in many bars and clubs makes some people feel as if the entire city was their ashtray. Acting up against this kind of behavior could be a New Year’s resolution in itself. Last time I saw a guy trying to light up a cig at a restaurant, my bestie put him out with a fiery rant.
photo: Riccardo Fissore
Strike your balance
It’s hard to achieve a consensus between your inner fearless artist and the humble citizen who has to pay that former guy’s taxes. I’ve had a split personality ever since I got back my tax declaration last year. Figuring out how to unleash your wild creativity without having to sell your kidney is tricky, and will likely involve maintaining a side hustle. But sharing your passion with the city is worth it – and in Berlin, there are plenty of opportunities to ease your way into it. Check out these open mic nights for musicians. There’s another list for comedians. There are also some for writers, like Whisky & Words, where I’m really very tempted to return one day. If you get out there and are still having fun, here’s our guide to getting started as a freelancer for those wanting to take their gig to the next level.
I feel like giving back to the community on a volunteer basis is also an amazing way to channel your energy back into the flow of the city. Check out how you can get involved with the awesome platform Give Something Back to Berlin or browse through various opportunities on the online volunteering platform vostel.
photo: Nick Karvounis
Stop living under someone’s stairs…
Cause getting petrified every weekend doesn’t mean you’re Harry Potter. And even if it did – unfortunately, there is no magic formula to getting a room in Berlin – you basically have to stay online and alert 24/7, following the awful routine of sending out those applications. It gets even worse when you’re so over the Peter Pan syndrome that you feel like getting an apartment of your own. In that case, it all comes down to the payslip – preferably two – so even if you’re moving in on your own, you may need a plus one to sign the contract. In recent years, the prices of even small apartments with single rooms have skyrocketed – we wrote about how the prices vary among different districts here – but landing a little lair of your own is still possible, especially with WBS – for which you might qualify depending on your income situation.
Declutter your love life
Fate does work in mysterious ways and somehow my old phone went dead just as it started to dawn on me that I do in fact need a break from all the dating apps. Maybe that poor screen just couldn’t take any more of me being left on “read” by some or the unsolicited dick pics from others. Whatever the reason for that divine intervention, I have to be grateful they don’t make technology that lasts, because the rehab has been a pleasant surprise. Safe in the knowledge that you can come back to the vicious circle of disappointing one night stands whenever you feel like, you might as well take a moment to celebrate the genuine love already present in your life. And maybe, just for a while, stop making yourself miserable looking for the one that’s missing – have a laugh about it instead.
photos: Felix Russell-Saw
But those are just our examples. What’s your 2019 agenda? Going vegan, getting famous on Instagram, or only watching arthouse films? Feel free to share your New Year’s Resolutions in the comments!