Background info: I'm originally from a smallish town in warm weather with a lot of places in which to escape in nature. Without realizing what was "wrong" with me growing up, I found that the bad feelings went away and I found peace away from people and in nature. A little over a year ago, my life took me to live in one of the biggest cities in the US in a place with harsh winters. I do not have a car, so I can rarely escape to any large expanse of nature (manicured parks don't really work as well for me). Plus, very cold winters leave me unable to spend large amounts of time outdoors during quite a lot of the year. I've managed to block out most people's feelings enough that I don't feel what every single person walking down the street is feeling unless they are going through a particularly strong emotional moment, but I do always feel this sort of weight or pressure weighing me down and closing in on me. Additionally, when I do manage to shut almost all of it out, I feel so disconnected from the world and, thus, lonely with only my own emotions.
My mood picked pack up in summer and between the warm weather and a road trip through the middle of nowhere, I felt almost like my old self again. In fact, I felt almost euphoric during crowded summer events, much happier than would make sense based on my enjoyment of the actual activity. Now that the weather is getting colder and cloudier, my mood is changing significantly. During my first fall/winter here (before I had spent a summer here), I thought I just had a really terrible case of seasonal affective disorder, and I am pretty sure I did to some extent. However, now that I know individuals here, I am more aware of their individual emotions, and everyone's emotional state changed with the weather. Everyone I know is much (I'm not sure if I can describe this quite right) quieter, quicker to grumpiness, lethargic. Even the strangers seem angrier than they were. Although I think I had a hard time adjusting to seasons due to growing up outdoors in almost perpetual sunshine, I think part of it was reflecting the emotional state of so many people. To make matters worse, my go-to-emotional-calmer (escaping to nature) isn't really available to me.
I am terrified of feeling as awful as I did most of last year. I am working on dealing with the biological aspects of my feeling terrible (vitamin D, staring at white light, etc), but does anyone have any tips on...
1.) Making a transition to a city a lot more crowded with emotion and dealing with it without closing yourself off completely or feeling the weight of a city on your shoulders
2.) Not letting a city full of people's mood's changing affect your own
3.) Places you may find in cities that calm you in the way nature does?
PS, I am new here, and although I never felt exactly crazy, I have felt like I need to hide a big part of myself from people. Even the friends who sort of understand would give me a crazy look if I said something about feeling emotionally weighed down by other people's emotions. I'm so happy some place like this exists To anyone who took the time to read all of that, thanks for your time!
updated by @water-lily: 01/09/17 09:20:53PM