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6 Vacation Spots Where You Can Relax and De-Stress

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Not every vacation was created equal. There are those that are filled with screeching kids on waterslides and ones that require a whole bunch of planning and negotiating. When you come off a year of long days and extra hours, you’ll need time to settle in and shift your mind from work-mode to vacation-mode before you can truly relax. When you finally forget about budget goals and spreadsheets there’s no point of wasting your precious vacation time trying to drown out the roar of late night bar hoppers at 3 a.m. or spend hours trying to coordinate a multi-stop trip. If your goal is to relax and de-stress you’ll want to vacation in a place where you can post-up, start a lazy daily routine, and let go of your worries.

If not every vacation was created equal, these vacation spots are the pick of the litter with their quiet, natural surroundings, central locations, and relaxed atmosphere. Whether you want to sit on a beach, work on your golf game, hit the slopes, or focus on your wellness, there’s a destination and resort for you. Pack a good book, order another round, put up your feet, and enjoy a truly stress-free vacation.

1. Maya Tulum Wellness Retreat & Spa, Tulum, Mexico

Source: www.facebook.com/Maya.Tulum

Not only does this destination offer easy, inexpensive flights from the U.S., but the Maya Tulum is consistently ranked as one of Mexico’s best and most affordable destination spas. With a beachfront location, yoga classes, and an extensive wellness spa including an indigenous sweat lodge and specialty retreats, there is a lot of relaxation going on. Book a private beachside villa for views of the Caribbean Sea and tempting blue waters.

2. Fairmont Heritage Place Franz Klammer Lodge, Telluride, Colo.

Source: Fairmont.com

If you’re looking for a relaxing ski vacation devoid of long lift lines, this is the place to be. The property is located at the base of the ski area, so you don’t have to finagle transport to the lifts, and each room is between 1,400 and 2,000 square feet offering guests a full kitchen and large living areas so you can truly settle in and relax. The ski terrain is varied so there’s something for every level and the views are unparalleled. Relax after a long day on the hill at the intimate spa.

3. Puri Asri Villa Hotel & Spa, Bali, Indonesia

Source: Puri Asri Villa

It may be a long, expensive flight to get there, but once you arrive in Bali, you’ll find luxurious, yet affordable housing, great food, and enough spas to visit a different one each day. Puri Asri is in Ubud, Bali, away from the hubbub of the more tourist-filled ocean-side towns. Ubud is an artist community that offers enough dining to quickly become a food lovers dream. The Puri Asri Villas are located an easy 10 minute walk or shuttle from central Ubud so you can sit poolside, relax in the spa, or enjoy the tranquility of your own villa.

4. Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa, Bermuda

Source: Cambridgebeaches.com

This adult-only resort makes quiet and relaxation a priority with access to four private beaches, an on-site Ocean Spa, three restaurants, and ocean view cottages with a private plunge pool. The property is historic and sits on its own 30-acre peninsula of land on the tiny island of Bermuda. This spot is easy to access as sunny Bermuda is just a short and inexpensive plane ride from the East Coast.

5. Jade Mountain Resort, St. Lucia

Source: www.facebook.com/JADEMOUNTAINSTLUCIA

If you’re looking for a high-end resort with a quiet, kid-free atmosphere, this is the spot for you. Each large suit overlooks the sea from its own whirlpool tub, canopied bed, and private infinity pool. The resort offers delicious organic cuisine and doting service so you can let go of your cares and focus on finding your deepest state of relaxation.

6. Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Amelia Island, Fla.

Source: Ritzcarlton.com

This golf-getaway resort is located on a barrier island 35 miles from Jacksonville. The feel is casual elegance, and it’s the perfect choice for a relaxing family vacation. There are plenty of kid-friendly activities so you can work on your golf game. The dining options and spa are both top-notch and the resort is beach side with views overlooking the sand dunes.

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Top 10 Best Places to De-stress

Why do you visit a spa? If you’re like most women, you’re looking for an escape from the daily grind. Maybe you need a little help jump–starting a healthier lifestyle too, but your real motivation is to get away from it all and focus on you. To help you create a completely individualized experience, the newest crop of spas is adding customized features and rituals tailored to your needs, concerns, and preferences. (Hate New Age music? Cue up Fergie.) From desert decadence to beachside luxury, these 10 new spas will prepare you to face the world again.

Chill Out In the City

The Spa at Mandarin Oriental

Atlanta, Georgia

Ever wonder what the lady–who–lunches lifestyle would be like? Now you can act the part with a stay at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta. The hotel towers over the upscale Buckhead neighborhood, and The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta is a luxurious retreat spread over two floors. Prior to any treatment (of which there are endless options), you can experience the spa’s heat and water facilities to soothe muscles and prepare for whatever zen-like therapy you’re about to have. Afterward, take a dip in the 60-foot lap pool.

Details: Treatments start at $100, rooms at $369; mandarinoriental.com/atlanta

Find Serenity In the Desert

The Spa at Encantado

Santa Fe, New Mexico

There’s something magical about the Southwest, and many spas have tried to capitalize on that feeling. The Spa at Encantado, located just seven miles from Santa Fe Plaza in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, gets it right. There are 65 adobe-style casitas, each equipped with heated bathroom floors and private terraces to fulfill your nesting tendencies, but there’s also a communal fire pit, an outdoor sculpture garden, and an art gallery to encourage you to go outside and meet your fellow guests. After a day of hiking, biking, or horseback riding in the nearby Santa Fe National Forest, cool your heels with a chili pepper foot–warmer treatment before you indulge in the Ojo Caliente Purification Ritual. You’ll start with an exfoliation (the aesthetician uses a loofah–like cloth made with cactus fibers), follow that with a dip in the heated pool and a few minutes inhaling eucalyptus in the steam room, then finish with a fresh rainwater rinse and warm–blanket wrap.

Details: Treatments start at $150, rooms at $475; encantadoresort.com.

Enjoy Glitz at the Beach

The Ritz–Carlton St. Thomas Spa

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

This resort offers the high–end luxury you expect from the Ritz, but the white–sand beaches surrounding it tone down the posh factor and give the place a laid–back vibe. When you arrive, pour yourself into a hammock, take a windsurfing lesson, or set off for a chartered sunset sail on a 53–foot catamaran. Cap your day with a moonlit massage in a beachside cabana. In keeping with the surroundings and “ritz–y” reputation, the spa features three facials and one body treatment that incorporate Prada Beauty products.

Details: Treatments start at $85, rooms at $269; ritzcarlton.com.

Get Back to Nature

The Umstead Hotel and Spa

Cary, North Carolina

Situated next to a 5,600–acre state park where you can hike, run, bike, and canoe, the Umstead considers nature the best stress reliever. You even get an outdoorsy feel inside the spa, thanks to the earth tones, a meditation garden, and glass walls that keep the area drenched in light. Spa–goers choose from nature–infused treatments like the Red Flower Hammam Tibetan Ritual, a steam and massage that use citrus, cedarwood, and clay.

Details: Treatments start at $105, rooms at $295; theumstead.com.

Breathe Easy in the Mountains

The Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

Beaver Creek, Colorado

Earn your spa treatment by taking the resort’s new gondola up the mountain for a few hours of hiking or biking on some of the 148 ski runs. At the bottom, reward yourself with a soak in a hot tub on the banks of the Eagle River. Then head to the 15,000–square–foot Spa Anjali for the Himalayan Journey to Serenity: Aestheticians apply an aromatic scrub of almond meal, date seeds, neem (which has antiseptic properties), and essential minerals, then follow it with a pressurepoint stimulation called Marmassage.

Details: Treatments start at $75, rooms at $250; westinriverfront.com.

Climb, Hike, and Spa

Spa at Montelucia

Paradise Valley, Arizona

From picture–perfect views to guided hikes, rock climbing, and rappelling, Camelback Mountain–one of the most famous landmarks in Phoenix–is always looming large at this Spanishstyle hotel and spa. A 90–minute hike on a steep trail (many people run it) will put you on top, and by the time you get down, you’ll be ready to park yourself in the 31,000–square–foot spa. Try Hammam–Style Therapy, an ancient Turkish bathhouse custom that includes having your back scrubbed, soaking in a whirlpool, sitting under a cold waterfall, and then lying on a heated platform.

Details: Treatments start at $215, rooms at $225; montelucia.com.

Take a Break from Your Routine

MySpa at the Fairmont Hotel

Chicago

A city spa typically caters to more locals and business travelers than a destination spa does, and the creators of MySpa have tried to offer services targeted to that pop–in, pop–out market. Need some relaxation between meetings? The 60–minute Power Treatment features a half–hour massage followed by a facial and manicure performed simultaneously. The hotel’s location couldn’t be more convenient either: It’s steps from the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute, Millennium Park, and Lake Michigan.

Details: Treatments start at $135, rooms at $249; fairmont.com/chicago.

Stay Sin-Free In Sin City

The Spa at Trump International

Las Vegas

While the latest Trump property doesn’t have a casino or an entertainment venue, you’ll be treated like a high roller regardless. The 24–karat gold and glass tower comes with all the luxury you can dream of, including TVs built into the bathroom mirrors and a 24–hour Trump concierge who can arrange everything from laundry service to helping you find just the right outfit for a big night out. As soon as you check into the 10,000–squarefoot spa, you’ll pick one of five personal intentions: calm, balance, purify, heal, or revitalize. Your choice will determine everything from the essential oils and aromas used during your treatments to the flavor of tea you’re served and the music you listen to on your spa iPod.

Details: Treatments start at $40, rooms at $349; trumplv.com.

Relax Palm Beach-Style

SiSpa at the Resort at

Singer Island

Singer Island, Florida This beachfront property, a Luxury Collection Resort on Florida’s Gold Coast, incorporates the ocean everywhere you look, from the water walls in the spa entrance to the treatment suites named after the world’s seas. The theme makes it easy to float away midsession, whether you’re getting the Bohai Ancient Tibetan Treat (a combo of aromatherapy, rhythmic breathing, and chanting) or the Caribbean Wake– Up Call, which includes exfoliation with fresh citrus fruit and crushed olive stones as well as massage using grapefruit, juniper, and rosemary. Once you’re sufficiently invigorated, try one of the resort’s regular beachside yoga classes or power walks, or spend the day kayaking through the mangroves (the hotel can arrange excursions).

Details: Treatments start at $85, rooms at $199; luxurycollection.com/singerisland.

If you are ever thinking of a vacation to de-stress, sure Paris or Italy sounds nice; maybe even Japan, Germany or the United Kingdom. These are, after all, among the most recognized countries in the world. As a result, they can also be tourist traps.

But if you think outside the box for a moment, there are still plenty of sites in the world that might not originally have been in your radar. However, they not only offer plenty of opportunities for an adventure, but they will also allow you to leave your stress behind while also proving to yourself that you can try something new, and actually love it.

Although there are plenty of amazing destinations around the world, we compiled this list with the crowd at the back of our mind, or more specifically the absence of it. We want you to de-stress, not add to your stress, which a crowd tends to do.

However, there are some destinations on our list where you will encounter crowds. But that can’t be helped. Just think that the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks.

So without further ado, let’s go straight to the 20 of the places that could be included in your bucket list.

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20 Dongchuan, Red Land

via: momchantha.com

When God decided to splash the world with colors, most of them probably landed in the Dongchuan Red Land. The area spans about 30 miles and despite its name, and depending on the season, you will see a lot of green, yellow, purple and even some blue. It’s a unique kaleidoscope of colors that you probably won’t see anywhere else.

via: China Discovery

The ride going to the area is also an adventure. The Red Land can be found in Huashitou Country in Xinxiang in Yunnan Province. The best time to visit is between May and June when it’s harvest season for the farmers.

19 Hobbit Village

via: European Motorcaravanning

You’ve probably seen the movie, The Lord of the Rings, and likely gushed about the cute little village called The Shire where Frodo and Sam lived. But did you know that you can actually go there? It’s called the Hobbiton, located in Matamata in New Zealand. There are actually plenty of tours going to the site, which is understandable considering that it boosted the tourism industry of the country.

via: Travel Away

It’s a movie tour, but not really. You may learn a few tricks on how they made Frodo smaller than Gandalf. The whole tour takes just two hours but you can explore the rest of New Zealand, as well.

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18 Ba Na Hills

via: Ba Na Hills

Tucked in a small town of Da Nang, in Ba Na Hills, Vietnam is a whole French Village. The European village, which is a striking contrast to the simple life of rural Vietnam, is located nearly 1,500 above sea level. There’s a cable car that will take you there. The ride will take about 20 minutes that will take you past beautiful scenery, deep gorges, and tall waterfalls.

via: BeMyGuest

There are nine gardens all in all in the French Village, each with a different theme. There’s also an amusement park and a giant Buddha facing the mountain. Better get your cell phone juiced up because you are going to take a lot of pictures.

17 Vadhoo Island

via: steemit.com

How would you like to swim in the sea of stars? The Vadhoo Island offers you that opportunity. The ocean glows in the dark due to plankton, the bioluminescence microorganisms which are the main diet for the blue whale. Vadhoo is just among the many islands in Raa Atoll in the Maldives.

via: wanderpig.com

And the best thing is that it’s only just a 15-minute boat ride from the Male airport. However, the Maldives is a beautiful place even without seeing the glow-in-the-dark water. Just soak in the sun, sea, and sand and forget all your troubles, at least for the time being.

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16 Dracula’s Castle

via: gezimanya.com

Historically, there are actually three castles that lay claim to be connected to Vlad the Impaler, the real historical conqueror by which the legend was based. There’s Bran Castle, and there are also the Hunyad Castle and Poenari Castle. They are all located in Romania. Now how can you de-stress touring Dracula’s Castle?

via: Pixdaus

Well, we do admit this is not for everybody. But if you love history and castles, you can’t go wrong by traveling to Romania and see for yourself how people of that era lived. Of course, you can also learn to separate the facts from the myths.

15 Pamukkale, Turkey

via: cos-8la.com

Listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, you know you are in for a treat. Pamukkale is roughly translated as Cotton Castle, and for good reason. First, however, you should visit the spa city of Hierapolis. The two sites are just a walking distance away. There’s a two-kilometer necropolis in Hierapolis, which dates back to 190 B.C.

The reason why you should visit Hierapolis first is due to the fact that you can take a dip in the cascading thermal waters of Pamukkale. The water is said to have healing properties but that’s really just an added bonus. You are literally taking a dip where an ancient civilization bathed. How cool is that?

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14 Plitvice Lakes

via: plitvicelakes.com

This was already added to the UNESCO list as far back as 1979. The Plitvice Lakes is a national park located in Croatia. It sits on the border at Bosnia and Herzegovina. The whole area spans 300 square kilometers featuring 16 major and minor lakes. What’s amazing about them is that they feature different colors even if, technically, the same water cascades through and over rocks in a distance of over eight kilometers.

via: wallpaperstudio10.com

The largest of the waterfalls in the area has a drop of about 70 meters. Not as impressive as some waterfalls in terms of height but you are supposed to take in the whole view. And what a view it is.

13 Ha Long Bay

via: godwana.es

Located 105 miles east of Hanoi, you will find yourself in Ha Long Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are about 2,000 islets in the area but you will probably be limited in a 300-square kilometer site, which has almost 800 islets. As if the beauty is not enough, you should know that nature took 500 million years to produce the rocky formations that tourists enjoy today.

via: citypassguide.com

You can dock at some of the islands and see some of the structures there such as the Hang Dau Go grotto. About 40 of the islands have people and you can see for yourself the idyllic life of a Southeast Asian village.

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12 Jiuzhaigou Valley

More than 100 lakes, snow-capped mountains, caves, thick forests, rich flora and fauna, and multiple waterfalls, welcome to Jiuzhaigou Valley. The lakes will assume different colors depending on the algae and other marine life beneath. This Eden is located in the Aba Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, to the north of Sichuan Province.

via: iefimerida.gr

It’s at least 2,000 above sea level so this nature preserve always has a cool climate even during the height of summer. Take a hike in the various trails and let the beauty of nature envelope you. Time your visit during Spring or Autumn when the forests will take on different colors, which only adds to the splendor of the place.

11 Citadel City of Valetta

via: citadelcityofvaletta.com

Recognized by UNESCO in 1980, most of the buildings here date back to the 16th Century on the auspices of the Knights of St. John. It was meant to be an area where warriors participating in the Crusade could do their R&R. The walled city is very small, at just 1 kilometer by about 600 meters.

via: origo.hu

You can walk around in just a matter of hours. However, there are plenty of details to soak in that a day would just not be enough to explore Valetta. Fortunately, there are several hotels and inns inside where you can rest for the night and resume your exploration in the morning.

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10 Temples of Bagan

via: themanual.com

There’s probably no place on earth with the most number of temples per square mile than in Bagan, Myanmar. A good number of them, (the number ranges between 100 and 400), were destroyed or damaged by the 6.8 magnitude earthquake in 2016 but there’s still a lot you can see today. These temples date back to 9th B.C. and supposedly there were 10,000 pagodas and temples at the height of its epoch.

via: locationscout.net

Today, there are just 2,200 structures remaining. Of course, you can’t visit them all. But you can burn an incense in the temple and pray for blessing or you can just take in the scenery and get some precious photos.

9 Goblin Valley

via: fromatob.org

If you are in the US, you don’t have to go overseas to de-stress. The Goblin Valley State Park is located more than 200 miles southeast of the capital city of Salt Lake. You can hike through the three major trails in the Valley of Goblins, go on guided horseback rides, or bring in your mountain bike so you could explore as much of the park as you can.

via: Wayne Pinkston

Countless Hoodoo rocks pierce the red sandstone and they stretch several feet into the air. The whole area has been likened to the Red Planet. The movies, Galaxy Quest or the Tree of Life were filmed here.

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8 Aoshima, Japan

via: lifegate.com

Aoshima, an island in Ehime Prefecture, offers really nothing special. Certainly, there are far more beautiful islands in the world. But no area can claim to have more population of cats than people. There are six times more cats here than people. From the time you step off the ferry, you will be greeted by cats of all shapes and sizes.

via: lifegate.com

Most of them are tame and people have learned to live with them. They are also used to tourists gawking and taking photos so you should be good. If you are a cat lover then you just found your paradise.

7 Machu Picchu

via: getyourguide.com

The Inca civilization has been the subject of conspiracy theories all over the world, not least of which is how the aliens were responsible for their advanced knowledge in different fields of science. But Machu Picchu, located almost 2,500 meters above sea level, is a testament to man’s capability to surpass himself.

via: alpacaexpeditions.com

The site abhors wasted space so each structure and outcrop has a certain function. There’s also the Intihuatana stone, which is believed to be how the Incas tell time, days, and years. October to April is the rainy season so better steer clear of those months. Going up is hard enough, try doing so with mud on your shoes.

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6 Hanging Gardens of Bali

via: tropicalife.net

Pamper yourself in this seven-star hotel located in Ubud. The Hanging Gardens of Bali features several infinity pools where you can take in the view of the lush forest, as well as the Ayung River. There’s a full luxury spa treatment, free shuttle from and to the airport, muscle-relaxing massages, and being treated like a king or queen. You can also ask the front desk for a guided tour of the island.

Don’t forget to visit the Monkey Forest while you are there, pretend like you’re Indiana Jones seeking treasure as you marvel at monkey temple right within the sanctuary. There are actually a lot of infinity pools in Bali, as well as white sand beaches.

5 Geghard Monastery

via: reddit.com

Head off to Armenia to the multiple complexes of Geghard Monastery. This ancient structure is carved right out of a mountain and overlooking the deep gorge below. It’s located in Kotayk province, and its beginnings are traced back to the 4th Century. The monastery itself is an engineering marvel and you can see intricate churches and just hole-in-a-wall prayer grounds inside the complex.

via: tours-armenia.com

And while you are there, you can also visit the Temple of Garni, which is just 15 minutes away. The Temple of Garni is even older than the monastery as its construction dates back to the 1st Century.

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4 Blue Ridge Mountains

via: vauclusespring.com

The Blue Ridge Mountains, stretching from Georgia to Pennsylvania, didn’t get its name for the heck of it. Without going to too much detail, the mountains look blue from the distance because of the gas called isoprene released by the trees. This is part of the mighty Appalachian Mountains. Driving around the road will give you the most breathtaking view.

via: greenbelly.co

There are also plenty of camping grounds, hiking trails, waterfalls, and local cuisine to make it worth your while. You can zipline, kayak, mountain bike, hike, and paddle in the lakes and rivers in the area. The Shenandoah National Park is located here, as well as the Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

3 Tombs of the Kings

via: .com

Located in the Paphos port in Cyprus, the Tombs of the Kings is a necropolis site that dates back to 4th B.C. Despite the name, however, there are no kings that are buried here. Instead, the area is the burial ground of the aristocrats and high ranking officials of the government.

via: leonardo-hotels-cyprus.com

Going to the site is easy and it will just cost you a little over two Euros to get access. But while you are in the country, you should also visit the Ancient Kourion, Byzantine basilica, St. Hilarion Castle, Ancient Salamis, Kolossi Castle, and the many beautiful beaches of this ancient republic.

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2 Cuenca, Ecuador

via: GringosAbroad

Another of UNESCO heritage site, Cuenca is a Spanish enclave that speaks volumes of its colonial past. Most of the structures in the area date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The city is nestled about 2,500 meters above sea level so the climate is temperate. Cuenca is a walking city so there’s plenty of opportunity to roam around.

via: 5-five-5.blogspot.com

Don’t forget to visit the Monastery of El Carmen de Asuncio, the Old Cathedral, Museum of La Concepcion, and the Ruinas de Todos los Santos, where you can see the Inca influence. The best thing is that your dollar will go a long way here because of the favorable exchange rate.

1 Lake Hillier

via: medias.rs

A lake painted entirely in pink!?! It really exists, we kid you not, and it’s located in West Australia. And it’s not just pink, pink. It’s bubblegum pink! If you want to know the science behind its color, well, this is the wrong place for that. Google it or something. But really, how often can you say that you swam in a lake that is bubblegum pink?

via: planbooktravel.com

Fly a drone and take a photo above and you will see the contrast between the pink lake and the blue Pacific Ocean. It’s really a unique experience that will drive away your stress for a moment.

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Everyone needs to get away to get relief from stress at some point. However, actually getting away can be difficult. Sometimes a few hours is all a busy schedule can afford, so if your brain needs a break from all the commotion in your life, here are 10 places you can go for a little relief.

Take a trip to the spa

Taking time out to get a mani-pedi and a massage is definitely a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. However, massage therapy is more than just an ideal stress reliever. It can also help to improve circulation and it offers relief from headaches, anxiety, lower back pain and even insomnia.

Go to the movies

Laughter really is one of the best medicines for dealing with stress, so a light-hearted romantic comedy may be just what the doctor ordered. Take an hour or two to get caught up in a story, and leave feeling refreshed and ready to deal with the challenges of your day.

Hit the gym

Taking time out to take care of your physical health can do wonders for your state of mind. Make this location a daily destination. An ongoing exercise routine will help you to develop mental toughness and will show you that you are much stronger than you may sometimes give yourself credit for.

Go to a concert

Music is often used as part of stress and relaxation therapy, so there’s no better reason to go see your favorite band. Go to the symphony, ballet or enjoy a little musical theater.

Go to a park

Spending time outside is a nice and inexpensive way to get away and get relief from stress. Visit a local park for a picnic. Take a long walk to enjoy the time to yourself and the fresh air.

If you have time for an extended getaway, consider visiting a national park for a fun, stress-relieving vacation >>

Go to an amusement park

Blast stress out of your brain with a few hours of unadulterated fun. What better place to find your inner unstressed child than on a high-speed roller coaster?

If you’re serious about having some seriously amazing fun, then check out our list of the top theme parks in the country >>

Go shopping

Take a break from stress by embarking on a little retail therapy. You don’t have to break your budget to find stress relief through retail, though. If you go to the mall, leave your credit cards in the car, treat yourself to a latte and spend time window shopping instead of buying. Or go on a treasure hunt by exploring your local antique malls and rummage sales.

Go fishing

Spend a relaxing afternoon by (or on) the water. Even if you don’t get a bite, you can still enjoy the peace and quiet. Fish do not need to be hurt through the duration of your day of relaxation. Just practice catch-and-release style fishing.

Hit the beach

Another water-inspired way to find relief from stress. Take plenty of sunscreen, an umbrella for shade and a good book for a super-relaxing day.

Here is our list of the five best beaches in the U.S. >>

Find a farmers market

Take a break from your stressors by exploring your local farmers market. Not only will it help you to take your mind off of the factors that are causing your stress, but you will come home with lots of fresh and healthy fruits and vegetables.

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Sometimes in life, we need to take a break to relax and rejuvenate our mind, body and spirit. Taking a break and relaxing is a great way to increase productivity – because when you return back to your work, you will be full of new ideas and fresh energy to tackle hurdles and move forward.

Here is a list of 70 things you can do for relaxation and relief from stress. Most of them are simple activities that anyone can do. Not all activities listed here will work for everyone so try to find out the activities that work best for you. Please note that these activities are not listed in any particular order.

1. Practice relaxing yoga asanas

There are many simple yoga asanas like Balasana (Child pose) and Makarasana (Crocodile pose), Cat-Cow pose, Legs up the wall pose that can be immensely relaxing to the mind and body. Just choose any one pose that you are comfortable with and do it for around 2 to 3 minutes.

Also Read: 8 Restorative Yoga Poses To Release Stuck Emotions

2. Listen to relaxing music

The right music has the power to take away all your worries. Create a playlist of your favorite relaxing tracks and listen to it whenever you feel stressed.

3. Meditate

Dim the lights, sit alone and focus on your your breathing. Feel your heart beats. Witness your mind and the thoughts that arise. Realize that you are not your thoughts. Let the thoughts go.

3. Paint your imagination

It does not matter if you are good at painting or not. Just take out a watercolor paper (or simply use any blank paper), a paintbrush, some watercolors and paint what comes to your mind. Express yourself. You can even use sketch pens, color pencils or crayons – whatever’s available.

Adult coloring books are a good option too.

Also, if you are feeling particularly creative, checkout this painting kit from US Art Supply.

This kit contains a Table Box Easel with Drawer, 3 Canvas Panels, 12 Acrylic Paint Tubes, and 4 Paint Brushes. Pretty much everything you need to get started.

5. Go for a walk in nature

Go for a mindful walk early in the morning when the air is fresh. Be mindful of each step you take, the sights, sounds and smells. Lose yourself to the experience.

Also read: 54 Quotes on the Healing Power of Nature.

6. Watch the sunrise

Find a location where it is easy to watch the sunrise and spend a few minutes watching the sun, preferably barefooted. The morning sun energizes you and fills you with positive energy.

If you have the time, spend a few minutes soaking in the morning sun. Vitamin D relaxes blood vessels and enhances circulation. The most natural way to get Vitamin D is to soak in the morning sun for around 10 to 15 minutes without any sunscreen.

7. Take a hot/cold shower

A hot/cold shower, also known as a contrast shower can be extremely relaxing to your mind and body. Start with a hot shower followed by a cold shower and repeat the cycle three to four times.

Contrast showers are used by fitness professionals and athletes to get relief from muscle soreness and fatigue.

8. Play a board game

Board games can be a lot of fun and can help take your mind off things. They also help bring back the carefree childhood memories.

There are thousands of games to choose from. Some particularly relaxing games are Ticket to Ride, Splendor, Tokaido, Takenoko, Flowerpower, Settlers of Catan and Fluxx. Or you can stick with classics like Monopoly, Game of Life, Backgammon, Cluedo, Chess, Uno, Connect 4 or Scrabble.

If you are new to board games, you can start with a game that is easy to learn and fun to play at the same time like Ticket to Ride .

This game basically involves building train routes to difference cities across a map. Even though it might sound boring, the game is extremely addictive and fun to play. No wonder it has sold over three million copies.

Another game you can consider is Splendor. Splendor is a card based board game which is super easy and fun to play.

9. Go for a swim

Swimming, especially in natural lakes can be extremely relaxing. But even if you don’t have a lake nearby and your only option is chlorine treated water, it can still give you all the benefits. Play around in the water, float in it, feel the water and listen to the water as you swim.

You can also use a flotation product like an air mat or pool tube and enjoy a relaxing float in the water.

10. Get yourself a massage

A good massage can not only help you relax but also help reduce anxiety, digestive disorders, headaches, sleep issues and joint pains. You can go to a massage parlor or even better ask your partner to give you a full body massage. Remember to return the favor!

You can also give yourself a self massage if no one else is around. There is a practice of self massage called Abhyanga in Ayurveda which can be highly relaxing. Here’s how to do Abhyanga.

11. Spend time with a pet

Petting a dog/cat/rabbit or any other furry animal can feel highly relaxing. Research indicates that petting animals releases feel good hormones in humans.

If you don’t own a pet, consider visiting a friend who has one.

12. Do deep abdominal breathing

Take a few minutes to breath deeply and consciously. Fill your lungs up with life energy and hold for a few seconds before exhaling. While inhaling, place a hand on your belly and make sure that your belly rises. While exhaling, think of all your stress flowing out of your body.

Also Read: Destress In 30 Seconds With The Bee Breathing Technique

13. Write down your worries

Writing on paper can be highly cathartic. Buy yourself a journal and start writing. Write down what’s on your mind; write about things that have been bothering your lately; write about the things you love; write about past events that have been on your mind. Reflect on your writing.

Also read: 9 Inspirational Self Reflection Journals to Help You Rediscover Yourself.

14. Take a salt water bath

Salt water baths have immense benefits especially when it comes to stress relief and relaxation. This is because, salt water baths helps you body absorb magnesium and magnesium helps lower blood pressure, improve circulation, relieve cramps, relieve headaches and improve sleep quality.

Simply fill your bath with warm water and add around 2 to 3 cups of magnesium sulfate (Epson salt) or magnesium chloride salts and soak it in for about 20 to 25 minutes. Follow this up with a shower.

Or you can consider a relaxing foot bath by soaking your feet in magnesium water (add around 1-3 cups of salt in a bucket or bathtub).

We recommend using the Magnesium Bath Flakes from Ancient Minerals.

15. Sing or dance

Put on your favorite chill out music and move your body to the rhythm. Don’t focus on how you are dancing. Instead, let go, lose yourself to the rhythm and let the rhythm guide you. Moving your body this way helps deeply relax your mind and body.

16. Cut down on processed foods

Processed foods stress your body out, curbing you of vital energy and making you feel drained. This is because your body has to expend a lot of energy digesting these foods and then removing the resultant toxins. Cut down on these foods and you will feel an instant boost of energy within a day or two.

Add high enzyme foods that boost digestion, improve gut health and aid relaxation. Include enzyme rich foods like raw tomatoes, cucumbers, pineapple, papaya, nuts and seeds in your daily diet. Fermented vegetables are high in enzymes too.

17. Watch your favorite childhood cartoons

Make a list of all the cartoons you used to love watching as child and watch them on Netflix. Try connecting with your inner child as you do this.

Cartoons like Winnie the Pooh, The Poddington Peas, Arthur, The Wild Thornberrys, As Told By Ginger, Lilo and Stitch, The Flintstones and many others are not only fun to watch, but also have a relaxing vibe to them. ‘Winnie the Pooh’, definitely tops the list.

You might even find many of these cartoons on youtube.

Also Read: 15 Life Lessons You Can Learn From Winnie The Pooh.

18. Listen to a guru

Listening to gurus speak can be relaxing as well as enlightening. Youtube has a host of videos by top gurus like Eckhart Tolle, Byron Katie, Adyashanti, Deepak Chopra, Ralph Smart and other masters. Just search for these names on Youtube to get their free videos.

Eckhart Tolle definitely tops this list. Simply listening to him speak can bring a deep sense of relaxation.

19. Spend a few minutes being mindful

Make a conscious attempt to live in the present moment. Let go of thoughts related to the past and future and consciously focus your attention in the present.

20. Wake up early

Walk up before the sun rises and smell the fresh air. Do some sun gazing and soak in the early morning sun rays. Follow up with some light jogging or walking.

Also Read: 50 Positive Songs To Wake Up To.

21. Go on a long drive

Find a scenic route and go on a long drive. Roll the windows down and breath in the fresh air whilst admiring the nature around you.

22. Learn to play music

Learn to play a musical instrument like guitar, ukulele or a piano. Playing music is fun and can be an excellent stress reliever. You can easily learn the basics using the countless tutorials available on the internet.

We recommend the Alfred’s Basic Guitar Method by Morty Manus and Ron Manus.

This book comes with a DVD and online video lessons and is specifically written to help you learn guitar in a quick, easy and fun way.

23. Read a comic book

Remember the comic book that you loved reading as a kid? Pick it up and start reading and get in touch with your carefree inner child.

If not a comic book, even children’s books or novels can make for a fun read. Some examples are books by Dr Seuss, Ruskin Bond, Roald Dahl and Judy Blume.

24. Hug a Tree

Trees have this beautifully relaxing energy to them. Hugging a tree can help you tap into this energy. Hug a tree and be still with the tree for a few minutes. You can also sit on a branch or under the tree and reminisce.

25. Watch children play

Go to a children’s park and watch children play. Tune into their carefree nature.

Also Read: 101 Thought Provoking Quotes From Children’s Movies

26. Sit on a swing

Go to a nearby park and (when there are no kids around), sit on a swing and start swinging. Feel the air on your skin and enjoy the soothing to and fro movements. The rocking movements that a swing creates will connect you with your inner child cause they mimic the movements of a cradle.

Hanging swing seats (hammock chairs) & rocking chairs are also a good option as they provide similar soothing movements.

We recommend this large Brazilian hammock chair from Hammock Sky.

This hammock comes with a high quality wood and a soft fabric. It can be used indoors or outdoors and you can either sit or sleep in it. Perfect for reading a book or taking a mid afternoon siesta.

27. Live without technology for a day

Switch off your cellphone, close your laptop, switch off your T.V. and spend the day away from technology.

28. Go shopping

Go to an antique store or any other store that sells unique items and look around. You might just end up finding something that could spark that dormant creativity in you.

29. Eat out and try a new cuisine

Visit a restaurant that you have never been to and order something that you have never ordered before. Try out a completely new cuisine.

30. Drop the resentments

Learn to forgive and forget. Forgive everyone including yourself. Drop the idea of revenge from your system and you will immediately feel lighter.

31. Sit around a campfire

Sitting around a campfire or a fire-pit can be deeply relaxing. Everything from the flickering light, to the warmth, smells and the crackling sounds, helps you relax and unwind.

You can create a fireplace right in your backyard using this Portable Outdoor Fire Pit from Rootless. This product is portable, light weight, easy to assemble/fold/carry/clean and is super affordable. It comes with a stainless steal mesh which can easily hold around 5 to 6 medium sized logs. You can use Duraflame logs or real wood as per your preference.

You can even cook on the flame using a tripod grill.

32. Go fishing

If you are lucky to live nearby fishing spots then by all means go fishing. If you have never tried it, then this a great new skill to learn.

33. Spend time alone

Take a walk alone and reminisce. Do some self reflection.

34. Day dream

Close your eyes and enter the dream world. Visualize yourself in a beautiful tropical island, relaxing and having fun without a care in the world.

35. Do some stargazing

Buy a relaxing camp chair, lean back and enjoy looking at the magnificent stars that adorn the night sky. They are all shining for you!

In order to enhance your stargazing experience, you will need a binocular or a telescope so you can see star clusters, the moon, comets and other elements in the night sky at a closer range.

We recommend starting out with the Celestron 7×50 Binocular (around $35 – $50).

This Binocular is quite powerful and gives 7x magnification along with a wide field of view so you can see large portions of the night sky.

This product also comes with a tripod adapter that allows you to easily mount the binocular to a tripod so you don’t have to hold it for long periods.

36. Stop and smell the flowers

Go for long walks in the park, look and smell the flowers. Don’t just make shallow observations, but be fully present and look deeply, get into the minor details.

As Thich Nhat Hanh says, “When we look deeply at a flower, we can see the whole cosmos is contained in it.”

Also Read: 48 Quotes On Finding Happiness In The Simple Things

37. Garden away

Gardening is the best way to connect with mother earth. Planting, raking leaves or even just pulling out weeds can have a calming influence on the mind. Work in your garden barefooted to get the benefits of grounding/earthing.

38. Go to a beach

Go to a beach and listen to the waves, walk along the shores, feel the breeze, build sand castles and collect sea shells. Walking on a beach has many known benefits in addition to helping you release stress.

39. Try self hypnosis

There are plenty of free relaxation hypnosis videos on youtube that you can try. Listen to them with your headphones on for maximum effect. If hypnosis is not your thing, try guided meditation instead.

40. Listen to binaural beats

A binaural beat uses two different sine waves which can be used to en-train the brain into positive states. Again, there are many free binaural beats on Youtube which you can check out.

41. Listen to OM Sounds

The OM sound is known for its relaxing effects. Consider humming along while you listen to the music.

42. Play a Tibetan singing bowl

Singing bowls have been used for deep relaxation and holistic healing since ancient times. They are easy to play and can be used by anyone. You can easily purchase one off amazon.com

We recommend this Tibetan singing bowl set from SilentMind.

This bowl is hand crafted and comes with a dual surface pencil grip mallet designed to produce the perfect sounds to get you into a relaxed and meditative state.

43. Visit an ancient temple

Ancient temples can bring a sense of peace to your being. This is because most ancient places of worship were built to help visitors with relaxation, grounding and inner peace.

44. Practice gratitude

Make a list of all the things you are grateful for. You can also consider maintaining a gratitude journal to jot down the things you are grateful for at the end of each day.

We recommend the Tiny Buddha’s gratitude journal. This is an 168 page interactive journal that contains both writing prompts and coloring pages designed to help you cultivate gratitude in your life.

45. Cuddle

Cuddling releases feel good hormones in your body. Cuddle with your partner and consciously feel their presence energy. If you are single, you can consider visiting a cuddle party if that’s your thing.

46. Create something

There is amazing power in creation. To get started, there is a whole array of do-it-yourself projects on the internet. Pick something that you enjoy and create it.

47. Draw a Mandala

A Mandala is a circular figure which represents the universe. It is said that drawing a Mandala can be extremely relaxing and a healing activity. Here is a video on drawing a mandala to help you get started.

If drawing is not your thing, then you can even buy ready made Mandalas and color them instead. We recommend the Stress Less Coloring Mandalas book. This book contains 100 mandala designs for you to color.

48. Visit an aquarium

Visiting an aquarium and watching different varieties of fish swim along can have a relaxing effect on our bodies. Read more here: Aquarium therapy.

49. Try essential oils and aromatherapy

There is a wide range of essential oils that can do wonders to reduce stress. Some of them include, Rose, Frankincense, Lavender, Rosewood and Ylang Ylang. Get yourself an aromatherapy kit (Oil diffuser + oils) and enjoy the positive effects. You can also add these oils to your bath or use them for massaging.

To get started, we recommend this beginners aromatherapy kit from InnoGear. This kit includes six oils along with a oil diffuser that emits 7 different mood colors.

50. Listen to the birds

Go to a park and focus your attention on the birds chirping. Tune into their free energy.

51. Create more space

Clean or re-arrange your room. Remove clutter by giving away things that you no longer need and create more space inside.

52. Donate your old clothes

Helping others can help you reduce stress and combat depression as it takes your mind off your problems and brings into picture a bigger perspective.

Donate your old clothes and/or equipment to organizations who help people in need. This is also a great way to remove clutter and create more space in your house.

53. Indulge in old memories

Sit with old photo albums and indulge in old memories. Research indicates that indulging in pleasant memories can be highly beneficial as it promotes optimism and well being.

54. Go to a meet up

Find meet-ups that you would be interested in, in and around your area and visit. Being around like-minded people is the best way to re-energize.

55. Visit a butterfly park

If there is a butterfly park around, visit and spend time observing these beautiful, colorful, carefree creatures.

56. Converse

Have long deep conversations with your partner or an old friend over snacks, wine and light music.

57. Try cycling

Hire a bicycle and take it for a spin along a calm traffic-free road. Feel the cool air caressing your skin as you ride along scenic locations.

58. Stretch

Stretching is a great way to release the tension in your body. Make it a point to stretch often.

59. Do some Shaking Qigong

Shaking Qigong involves shaking your body to release negative energy. All you need to do is stand in an at-ease position, keep your body lose and start to shake for around 5 to 10 minutes. You will be amazed at how much this simple technique relaxes you.

60. Listen to dolphins/whales singing

Listening to dolphins can be very relaxing. Check out ‘Reiki whale songs by Kamal‘ on Youtube or bandcamp. Or just search for ‘dolphin sounds’ to get a list of videos.

61. Take a sound bath

A sound bath involves listening to sounds generated by singing bowls, gongs, bells, didgeridoo and other instruments. The vibrations of these sounds is said to heal the body. Check out if there is a sound bath studio near your house and pay a visit.

62. Walk barefooted

Let the soles of your feet get directly in touch with mother earth by walking or standing barefoot. This practice known as ‘grounding’ is said to have various health benefits. Studies suggest that it helps reduce stress and inflammation, relaxes the muscles, reduces chronic pain and strengthens the immune system.

Consider walking barefoot on the beach or in a garden.

63. Take a nap in a hammock

Napping in a hammock can be an extremely relaxing experience. Studies have found that the slow rocking motion of a hammock calms down your mind by affecting your brain waves aiding deep, restful slumber.

Also Read: 15 Soothing Quotes To Help You Sleep (with Relaxing Images)

64. Rent a comedy movie

Laughter is a great way to beat stress. Good comedy movies can lighten your mood and help take your mind off things.

65. Try stress balls

Stress balls are great to release tension. When you squeeze the ball, the muscles in your arm tighten and relax as you let go. These are perfect for times when you are stuck at work and have no other way to vent.

Also Read: 18 Unique Stress Relief Gift Ideas

66. Practice progressive muscle relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation is an exercise that involves squeezing and releasing various muscle groups in your body. At the end of a fully body exercise, you will feel deeply relaxed. Here’s a video with easy instructions to follow.

67. Stay in a tree house

Staying in a tree-house for a day or two can make for a beautiful experience. Find out if there are treehouse resorts nearby and plan a stay for a few days. Airbnb.com is a great place to locate such treehouses. There are also many yoga and meditation retreats that offer treehouse based accommodation.

68. Watch Bob Ross paint

Watching a master artist create art (be it drawing, painting, sculpting etc.) can be a highly meditative experience.

Thanks to the internet, you can watch many such artists as they create masterpieces.

One such artist is Bob Ross who had a highly popular show on PBS named the – ‘Joy of painting’ in the 1980’s. Each episode consisted of Bob painting a beautiful masterpiece while talking to the audience about the joy of painting in his signature smooth relaxing voice. You can check out the videos here.

There are thousands of similar videos online that feature art being made by some amazing artists which you can check out too.

Also Read: 20 Wisdom Filled Quotes By Bob Ross On Life, Nature and Painting.

69. Listen to live music

Listening to live music be it a local jazz/piano concert or your favorite musician/band performing, can be a highly intimate and refreshing experience. There is even research to prove that live music is relaxing. It is also a great way to support your favorite artist.

If concerts are not your thing, there are also restaurants that play live music which you can check out.

You can use a site like EventBrite to find live events happening in and around your neighborhood.

Also read: 50 Quotes On The Healing Power Of Music.

70. Watch live stand-up comedy

There is something magical about watching a comedian churn out live jokes and laughing together with others.

According to best selling author Brian Benson, ‘To laugh is to feel alive. To laugh with another is to be spiritually connected with them.’

There are many comedy clubs that organize live events on a daily basis. You can find them easily using a site like Eventbrite as mentioned earlier.

71. Watch some relaxing Ebru painting

If you liked watching Bob Ross paint, then you will love Ebru painting. Simply put, Ebru is the art of painting on water using dyes and vibrant colored pigments. It’s fun to watch the entire process and the final result is mesmerizing.

Here’s a video you can start with: https://youtu.be/qk2K2uxzuKo

72. Connect with your body

Connecting with your body can be a deeply relaxing and liberating experience. On a default basis, we live in our minds (lost in thoughts) completely ignoring our bodies. Hence, when you come out of your mind and bring attention within your body, you can begin to consciously relax tense body parts.

Here are 5 simple practices that will help you reconnect with your body.

What is your favorite relaxing activity? Please feel free to leave a comment below and let us know.

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Related Resources:
How to be Happy by Roger Darlington

A Quiet Place for Stress Relief

Finding your quiet place is an important life skill activity. It’s hard to believe that the state of being quiet is one of the identified protocols for stress management.

Taking a moment to just slow down and do nothing may seem like a waste of time. We’ve been programmed for goal setting and making every second count. You feel it is a must to be busy every moment, crossing items off our list. You think spending time in a quiet place is such a waste of precious time. Every phone chirps with a new text, tweet or email must be checked and replied to instantly. In today’s world, an ignored communication can trigger immediate anxiety. The dread of missing something important is too stressful. Multi-tasking is he expectation, making life so busy that we can’t fully concentrate on anything.

What is your cost of being “busy busy?”

This constant state of being “busy busy” keeps our brain in a state of overdrive. We become so overstimulated that we spend our days stressed and frazzled. Then we wonder why we have trouble falling asleep at night.

Our brain wasn’t built to exist in a constant state of crisis, and it can’t work at its best in this crazy busy state. It is vital to make time for our quiet place to take a breath, slow down, and remember the importance of this time out activity.

To successfully navigate the stormy seas of stress, it is best to create plans in calm waters. The importance of slowing down in your quiet place to reduce the chatter of thoughts is often overlooked. Who has time to meditate when there’s so much to be done? But actually, taking time to slow down can help you accomplish more. When your brain is in overdrive, it’s almost impossible to process information, develop effective plans and then put them into action. It’s hard to see what’s important when your mind is jumping from on thought to another.When we are inundated by too many things vying for our attention, we can easily feel overwhelmed, anxious and depressed.

But spending time in your quiet place to slow down, to breathe, and be unplugged from technology can make all the difference. Slow down and you can think more clearly and see the problem and solution. Taking time spend in your quiet place retreat allows your creativity and intuition to come to the surface. Paradoxically, when you stop thinking about work for a while, it allows you to increase your overall productivity.

Identify your Powerhouse for Productivity

Find a quiet place that suits you. That doesn’t mean you have to sit still and meditate. Many people are amazed at how calm they feel after taking a walk. Being outside and mindful of nature can reduce tension and anxiety. Even if you live in a city, there are little parks, atriums and benches tucked away in odd corners where you can breathe outside air and feel the sun. Listening to the sounds of birds, ocean waves, rain, or even white noise can send you to a tranquil place. If you can’t get outside, or you prefer the indoors, you may find that listening to recorded sounds of nature is just as peaceful. You may find your favorite inner quiet place by sitting in a comfy chair with a scented candle, listening to your favorite music.

So, find your quiet place. Try to still your thoughts. Concentrate on nothing but your breath as you let your tensions go, or lose yourself in music, peaceful sounds or movement. When you feel that you are relaxed and your mind is calm, then you can allow yourself to see the best paths available to address your challenges and reach your goals. If you find yourself stuck in a frenzy of thoughts and emotions, you might try writing in a journal. Many people find that the act of writing down their thoughts both clarifies their thinking and calms them. In the journal example book,“The Way of the Journal,” author Adams describes journal writing as a reflective therapeutic tool to minimize overstimulation and overwhelming feelings.

Finding your quiet place can look very different for different people. Walking, listening to relaxing music, writing, being creative or using mindful meditation can all allow you to reach that inner calm place. And when you can still your mind, you will set free its power to optimize your problem solving strategies.

Please note: This blog is for information and educational purposes only. It is not meant to be a substitute for medical advice. If you need treatment advice for medical illness, please seek the help from your mental health provider.

Places to relieve stress

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