Editor’s note

Relaxing in this city is hard work.

Think of all the daily stressors that you’ve stopped paying attention to, especially if you’ve been in New York for a while. If you’re not a native, try to remember when you first moved here, and actually heard the sirens at night, and the jackhammers and horns during the day, before that all became background noise. Or a time when jostling for space in the subway and navigating wall-to-wall traffic getting into one of the tunnels wasn’t a given. Think back to a more carefree time when you didn’t get work emails at 2 a.m. And when there wasn’t always someone smarter, better looking, harder working or wealthier to hold yourself up against.

This is a city that is constantly purging itself, casting those without enough money (or connections or power or talent) out of its confines, to go live in other places with malls and farms. (We have heard some folks actually prefer those environs, but we’re skeptical.)

So yes, it is hard to relax if you are a Type A person living and competing in New York, but it’s certainly a necessity, I’ve found. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered in this issue of Luxury Listings with plenty of ways to decompress, recharge and renew. What better time to do all of that than at the start of a new year?

First, check out our “Luxe Life” story on ways to honor your New Year’s resolutions. They include resolutions to treat yourself better, build strength, do your cardio and eat healthier. Some of the tools that might get you there? Shadowboxing classes, a new kind of elliptical bike (which burns more calories than a regular bike), dry salt therapy (good for beating colds) and a personal trip with a celebrity fitness trainer to Costa Rica.

Meanwhile, more people want to get maximum relaxation at home these days, which is why more bathrooms in the city are being outfitted like spas, with high-end tubs that soothe with air jets and aromatherapies, roomy showers that offer muscle-loosening sprays, and racks that warm towels.

If you don’t know where to turn even after reading this issue, you can also explore the new Lululemon flagship store, its biggest outpost yet, on Fifth Avenue in the Flatiron District. Inside the store is a “fitness concierge” who can help you book exercise classes in the city. Still, it takes more than just $98 leggings to get fit, as reporter Isabel Schwab finds in her story.

Or maybe meditation, not sweating, is more your thing? Check out our review of the new MNDFL space on 8th Street in the Village, which offers guided mediation classes.

And remember how the elderly are sometimes paired with dogs with the idea that it will help them live longer, happier and healthier lives? The same might be true in pairing hipsters with cats on the Lower East Side, where two cat cafés have opened up, and a third is on the way. The cafés allow cat lovers to hang out with the furry beasts while sipping coffee and eating treats. Sounds relaxing indeed.

Finally, we take a look at some prime real estate that — if you have many millions to spend — could make for a nice place to relax too. We survey the priciest ski homes out West, in Vail and Aspen, on page 26. Some are akin to mini-resorts, with views of mountains that rival the Alps.

And closer to home, starchitect Zaha Hadid’s new condo project along the High Line in Chelsea will feature an entire “wellness level” with a gym and cold-press juice bar, a 75-foot sky-lit swimming pool and the city’s first private IMAX theater.

Our celebrity profiles in this issue also talk about antidotes to the city’s daily clash of egos and materialistic striving. Iconic actress Brooke Shields talks about her family life in Greenwich Village, which allows her to experience New York as a “small town.” She also discusses her latest role and her love of comedy — maybe laughter is the best medicine.

And in our other profile, Barbara Corcoran, the “Shark Tank” persona and real estate maven, talks about her rise over the years. She had a mere 22 jobs before she got it right. What drove her ceaselessly, and what does she see as the best trait for success in others? Insecurity.

“I never saw anyone without a lot of energy that was hugely successful,” she said. “I want someone who is desperate and has something to prove. Basically, I want someone who is insecure.”

No wonder we all need to relax.

Enjoy the issue!