Being around family is always important, but sometimes things can get a little crazy, especially when the holidays are involved (and especially when you’re the ones hosting).
If you are like most, sometimes a little me-time is just what you need to recharge those batteries before or after the stress of the holidays.
To help you unwind this Easter season, we’ve pulled together a list of activities that will help you unwind. Whether you need a quick pick-me-up in between prepping for this weekend’s festivities or you’re looking for something to do after the big day, here are some ideas to keep you happy, healthy, and stress free.
1. Find a Local Coffee House to Make Your Own
If you’re anything like us, then you really appreciate a good cup of coffee. And while making a pot at home is probably better for your wallet, there’s just something about a freshly-brewed cup from your local coffee shop that just feels right.
Here at the Weekender, we like to go to Cheshire Coffee (conveniently located just a short walk from our offices) to kick back and relax—before, after, and even during the work day. Spending 20 minutes just sitting there, sipping your coffee or tea and reading a book or people watching can have a meditative effect that’s just hard to find elsewhere.
Not sure where to head for that great cup of Joe? Here are some of our favorite coffee places from around CT that’ll help you unwind from all of the holiday stress:
- Dom’s Coffee — Avon
- Shearwater Coffee Bar — Trumbull
- Common Grounds — Branford & Hamden
- Silk City — Manchester
- Rebel Dog Coffee Co. — Plainville
2. Don’t Forget the Importance of Exercise
With warmer weather rolling into Connecticut, there’s no better time to visit one of the many parks our state has to offer. Whether you want to go for a walk, a hike, or even a ride on a bike, being outside is a great way to relax before a long day of being packed into your relatives house (or, after they all finally leave!).
I have had my fair share of Hikes up West Rock in the neighboring town of New Haven. Something about being on top of that big rock and looking over the city makes me feel like I’m separated from the chaos of the town below, and it’s just such a great feeling that I recommend everyone try it out the next time they’re feeling particularly stressed.
Some other parks around CT that we also love and recommend:
- Kent Falls State Park — Kent
- Fort Trumbull State Park — New London
- Wickham Park — Manchester
- Burr Pond State Park — Torrington
- Nepaug State Forest — New Hartford
3. Cuddle Up With a Furry Friend
When I was in college, sometimes the stress would be enough to send me running… running for the nearest animal shelter. If I ever needed to get a little stress relief from all of my exams and homework, I would often go to the shelter down the street and play with some of the dogs. It was a great way to get away from the studying and also a great way to help the dogs get some exercise and attention.
Playing with animals and watching animals is an easy way to get rid of some excess stress. Some people even say that watching fish in a fish tank is a great way to calm down and unwind. If you have a pet, or a friend has one, then you’re all set, but if you don’t and are looking for a way to unwind, there’s no harm in heading down to your local animal shelter and sharing a little love with the furballs there.
Not sure where to go? Here are 5 local animal shelters that are more than happy to let you spend some time with the animals:
- Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue — Ridgefield
- Animal rescue Foundation — Terryville
- Protectors of Animals Inc. — East Hampton
- Our Companions — Manchester
- Meriden Humane Society — Meriden
4. Bring Out Your Artistic Side
The day before I proposed to my now fiance, I took her to our favorite pottery place, Get Fired Up. Why, you ask? To calm my nerves. Everytime we go to make some pottery or paint some pre-made designs, we always get lost in the process. It’s just so relaxing.
The same idea applies to coloring books. Why do you think there are adult coloring books now? We need to relax too! If you need to put your mind at ease and forget about the stresses of the day I highly recommend going to a paint your own pottery place, but performing any kind of art will help you unwind.
Here are some of our favorite art studios where you can go in, unwind, and walk away with your very own masterpiece:
- Clay Date — New Haven
- Art and Soul — New Canaan
- My Own Masterpiece — Rocky Hill
- Farmington Valley Arts Center — Avon
5. Go Get A Massage
If our other suggestions just aren’t doing it for you, then you likely have a really bad case of stress on your hands. How do you treat BIG stress? With BIG stress relief! And that means a trip to the spa.
After the rush of the holiday is behind you, make some time for yourself and schedule an appointment at a local spa, where you can relax with a massage, hot tub, seaweed wrap, pedicure: Whatever you heart desires. The stress will melt right away and help you get back on track.
Here are some of our favorite CT spas that would be perfect to rid you of your Easter stress:
- Hope and Wellness — Ashford
- Bijou Salon and Spa— Waterford
- Neo Cosmetic Boutique & Spa — Hamden
- The Spa at Litchfield Hills — Litchfield
- Kure Spa & Wellness Center — Norwalk
What do you think?
How do you like to unwind amidst all of the stress of the holidays? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider adding your stress-relief strategies to our list!