By Jess Feldman, Holly Gambrell, Michele Kettner and Jennifer Zeleski
Editor’s Note: When this feature appeared in our May 2020 issue, the world was rapidly changing. Some of our self-care tips can be done from the comfort of your own home or outdoors. For others, it’s best to check online to see the status of events and services. Take care of yourself.
In uncertain times, self-care has quickly become more than just the buzzword du jour. We know everyone is talking about the best ways to relax and recharge, and we are too.
We’re giving you permission to put down the phone, take a deep breath and spend some time with yourself. Here, we’ve found 40 easy ways for you to do just that.
Chill Out with a CBD Spa Treatment
Cannabidiol, known as CBD, has been a hot trend in health and wellness. The
oil, extracted from the cannabis plant, is commonly used in massages and
skin care treatments to alleviate anxiety, stress, inflammation and other common health issues. Here, find three spa offerings to calm you. -HG
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, Tysons Corner
Clear your mind with The Ritz-Carlton Spa’s many hemp-infused CBD treatments, including a pedicure with hemp extract and lemongrass essential oils; a 50-minute hy-
dration ritual using hemp-infused massage oil and dry brushing for smooth skin; and a customizable massage, which includes a take-home CBD bath effervescent. // 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean; $75 pedicure, $185 hydration ritual, $195-$245 massage
Calvert Rejuvenations’ 90- to 120-minute CBD and LED Phototherapy Massage uses a CBD and magnesium aromatherapy lotion with arnica and lavender essential oils to provide relaxation and pain relief. The LED light therapy helps to penetrate the therapeutic ingredients into the skin. // 485 Carlisle Drive, Herndon; from $240
Serendipity Wellness Studio
Serendipity Wellness Studio offers products from Denver-based The CBDistillery, including tinctures, topical salves and face cream on its shelves. Ask for the
products to be used in your treatments, and then pick up your favorite for your at-home indulgences. // 5252 Lyngate Court, Suite 2020, Burke; $18-$62
Have Fun with a Four-Legged Friend
Who doesn’t feel better after spending time with a beloved pet? Even if you
don’t have your own Fido, these events let you have some quality time with
puppies, cats and even baby goats. -MK
Baby Goat Yoga
Nobody can stay tense as baby goats jump around and on top of you while trying to complete a downward dog. After your relaxing yoga session, enjoy a well-deserved
Champagne brunch. // May 9 & June 7; times vary; Restoration Acres: 10 Palomino Place, Fredericksburg; $40
Homeward Trails Animal Rescue Open House
Hang out with the precious dogs and cats of Homeward Trails and find your fur-ever friend at one of the shelter’s weekend adoption events. // Dog adoptions every
Saturday & Sunday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Homeward Trails Adoption Center: 11116 Fairfax Station Road, Fairfax Station; Cat adoptions every Saturday & Sunday; noon-2 p.m.; Unleashed by Petco: 3902 Wilson Blvd., Arlington; adoption fees vary
Doodlebug Puppy Yoga
If goats aren’t your thing, spend some time with the cute puppies of Homeward Trails at this special puppy yoga class. Spend 45 minutes surrounded by puppy cuteness
and watch your stress melt away. // May 20; 6 & 7 p.m.; Caring Hands Animal Hospital: 2601 Wilson Blvd., Suite A, Arlington; $39.50
Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe and Wine Bar
Stop by the new Mount Purrnon Cat Cafe for a cat-tastic time. Combining wine, history and cats, guests will be able to grab a drink or a book and lounge around while playing with the cats of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. All cats at the cafe are up for adoption. // Expected to open in summer 2020; Mount Purrnon: 109 S. Alfred St., Alexandria
Create your own Sweet Treats
Dark chocolate offers plenty of health benefits (really!), like providing antioxidants, improving blood flow, lowering blood pressure and, simply, boosting happiness. Don’t just bite into a piece—make your own! Here, see three chocolatiers offering
classes throughout the year. -HG
Helmed by pastry chef Santosh Tiptur, The Conche offers multiple chocolate-making classes each month in its chocolate lab, including mommy-and-me sessions and adults-only classes led by master chocolatiers. This month, find a Mother’s Day-themed mommy-and-me class on May 9. // 1605 Village Market Blvd. SE, Suite J108, Leesburg; $50-$75
Decorate chocolate bars just the way you want them at River-Sea Chocolates. The one-hour sessions let participants make four bars using rose petals, Himalayan salt, spices, nuts, seeds, coconut flakes, cherries, strawberries and more. Sessions will be held on May 2, 16 and 30. // 4520 Daly Drive, Suite 100, Chantilly; $30
The Watergate Hotel
A DC bucket list must, chocolate-making classes at The Watergate Hotel change by the
season. The iconic hotel partners with DC-based SPAGnVOLA to teach classes to adults and kids, in which participants create handmade truffles from fine cacao hand-picked in the Dominion Republic and roasted in Maryland. Classes are being offered throughout the spring. // 2650 Virginia Ave. NW, Washington, DC; $60
Focus on a Healthy You
The Women’s Health & Wellness Summit is coming to Dulles this summer (stay
tuned for a confirmed date), inviting local ladies to focus on—you guessed
it—their health and wellness. This daylong event will feature a variety of lectures, workshops and exercises led by over 24 professionals within the wellness world of Northern Virginia. From uncovering tips and tricks for mindfulness to understanding the various ways to turn your home into a Zen-filled zone, the entire agenda is meant to nourish your mind, body and soul, encouraging healthy living for the future. –JF // Washington Dulles Airport Marriott: 45020 Aviation Drive, Dulles; $149-$1,700
Do Your Sun Salutations in the Sand
Add some yoga to your summer beach vacation with these classes at driveable, seaside destinations. -JZ
Ocean City, Maryland
Starting on Memorial Day weekend, Summer and Nicolette of Summer Rain Yoga help yogis get the vitamin D they’ve been missing. Drop in for classes on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, where the sound of crashing waves and ocean breezes provide all the
Zen you need. // $18 per class
Dewey Beach, Delaware
Head to class with Carole and David of Dewey Beach Yoga and you’ll be sure to have fun, no matter your experience level. Class starts at 8 a.m. daily, perfect for starting your day, and all you need is a beach towel, some sunscreen and the willingness to open your heart toward the ocean. // $11 per class
Outer Banks, North Carolina
Lounging on the beach just got a whole lot better with The OBX Studio. Move through a gentle stretching sequence near the Nags Head Pier House with beautiful views, then treat yourself to breakfast with the same stunning views of the North Carolina beach. Classes are held Monday through Thursday at 7:30 a.m., giving you the chance to start your day right with deep breathing, easy movements and watching the sunrise over the water. // $20 per class
Have a Breakdown
It’s OK to not be OK. That’s the message being sent loud and clear by Break It, a
Fredericksburg-based business that gives you the space, tools and items you need to let
out all that pentup anger held within—with no room for judgment by others. Here’s how
it works: You choose how long your session will be, ranging from 5 to 45 minutes (with
the latter being for large groups), put on the safety-protection gear and proceed into an enclosed room full of breakable items, including drinking glasses, cameras, coffee makers, computers and even television screens. While the rage-filled experience is limited to those 16 and older, Break It recently added a Splatter Room, perfect for little ones wanting to make a mess without Mom telling them no. – JF // Break It: 4705 Flank Road, Suite 207, Fredericksburg; $25-$300
Get Creative with Your Hands
Artistic pursuits are good for your soul. In a 2010 study, “The Connection Between Art, Healing, and Public Health: A Review of Current Literature,” researchers found that “Use of the arts in healing does not contradict the medical view in bringing emotional, somatic, artistic and spiritual dimensions to learning.
Rather, it complements the biomedical view by focusing on not only sickness and symptoms themselves but the holistic nature of the person.” That’s essentially science speak for getting crafty. Here, a few upcoming events to get you started. -JZ
Getting flowers delivered is lovely. But arranging them adds a sense of accomplishment. Business partners Tess Finnegan and Liz Levin are onto something with Bouquet Club. Instead of happy hours or book clubs, their business encourages friends to get together for an evening of making beautiful bouquets. Book a party and they’ll show up at your home with the flowers, vases, tools—and they can even arrange the appetizers. “I think people want to get off their phones, they want to create,” says Finnegan of Bouquet Club’s success. “It actually becomes kind of a meditative Zen moment.” // In-home parties; $100 per person, 10-person minimum
Stitch in Space Fridays
Local yarn-hub fibre space is just the place to pick up a multicolored spool for a new
knitted blanket, but it’s also a local hot spot for learning how to cross your needles and
create something new. Take beginner-level classes on knitting, crocheting and rigid
heddle weaving, and then head to the Alexandria space on Fridays to work on your
projects. With practice and patience, you’ll be handcrafting hats, blankets and pieces
of artwork in no time. // fibre space: 1319 Prince St., Alexandria; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. every
Pottery Wheel Weekends
Remember when you were young and playing with Play-Doh was a pastime? Let your
hands get sticky once again by learning to spin your own pottery at Jimmy Potter’s
studio. Not only will you get the meditative experience of wetting and molding the
clay, you’ll also learn to pace yourself with the rhythm of the wheel. Slow and steady,
short and fast, it’s going to take time to get the hang of it, but that’s OK. No matter
how you spin your future ceramic cup, bowl or vase, it will be a tangible reminder that
you put your hands to work in order to better your holistic self. // Multiple locations; $140 for four, one-hour weekend classes
The Art League at Torpedo Factory Art Center
Whether you’re looking to paint your next masterpiece, sketch a proper landscape or sculpt a new creation, there’s an artistic class for you at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Attendees can enroll in summer beginner classes, learning about techniques such as abstract painting, charcoal sketching or mastering color, then expand into more specific techniques as they gain more confidence over time (or seek even more time to relax and create). Watch your anxiety and stress melt away as you build your artistic foundation and explore a new journey into drawing, printmaking and more. // Torpedo Factory Art Center: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; multiple days and times from June to August; $180-$550
Go with your Gut
Despite ancient roots, fermented foods and beverages are growing in popularity as part of modern-day health practices. Here’s why one local expert brings the preservation of foods to Northern Virginia kitchens. –JF
In recent years, naturally fermented foods have garnered national attention. While it is partially credited to the increase of multicolored kombucha bottles landing on grocery store shelves, the research also backs up the trend. Fermented foods—which have gone through a metabolic process by bacteria, yeasts or other microorganisms, making them rich in probiotic (good) bacteria—can increase the health of your gut, enhancing the immune system as a whole.
“We have this symbiotic relationship with the microbes that help us survive the winter and help them survive too,” says Liane Paulson, founder of Wow Wow, LLC, a Falls
Church-based business offering workshops in fermentation. “Your gut produces 90% of your serotonin, and there’s really this connection between the gut, brain, your immune
system and your overall happiness. I eat fermented foods with every meal; I like them, I’m healthier and I’m happier each day.”
Want to test out the power of fermented foods for yourself? Paulson has two workshops on May 17 and May 23—one dedicated to the basics of understanding and creating
fermented vegetables, such as pickles, kimchi and tempeh, and another focused on brewing drinks, such as kombucha and water kefir, a non-dairy version of the popular, fizzy concoction. No matter which one you choose to attend, you’ll walk away knowing how to benefit your gut from the comfort of your own home. // Workshops from $35-$60
Indulge with Ice Cream
Sometimes you just need ice cream. With summer on the way, take a break from the heat and treat the family to one of these over-the-top sundaes. –MK
Fulfill your childhood dessert dreams with Iron Ice’s Puffle Creation. Choose
from a variety of flavors and toppings to create your own little bowl of goodness; from monster cookie and strawberry cheesecake ice creams to cotton candy and Pocky toppings, the creations are endless. // Iron Ice: 13814 Braddock Road, Suite D, Centreville; $5.50-$6.50
Waffle Taco Sundae
Combine your love for tacos and ice cream with Cookies & Cream’s Waffle Taco
Sundae. You will definitely feel like a kid again as you munch on your “taco” filled with three scoops of your favorite ice cream and topped off with a dollop of whipped
cream and a cherry. // Cookies & Cream: 14600 Washington St., Haymarket; 9110 Devlin Road, Suite 100, Bristow; $5
If you are looking for an extravagant sundae, look no further than Snocream Company. These Taiwanese-inspired sundaes combine delicious ice cream with shaved ice full of bright colors to create an Instagram-worthy treat. // Snocream Company: 4221 John Marr Drive, Annandale; $6-$6.50
We live in a loud world. There are days, whether fighting off a headache, frustration or exhaustion, when you might just think, “Can’t we turn down the volume a little?” If you’re looking for peace and quiet, but with the addition of music, we’ve got you covered.
In a study cited by The New Yorker, pediatrician Kathi Kemper and psychologist Suzanne Danhauer found multiple benefits from listening to music when stressed, anxious or overwhelmed, or even in everyday life. In the study, music with “steady rhythms helped regulate breathing and elicited increased activity in the lateral temporal lobe, an area of the brain that helps integrate sensory inputs.” Music also decreased sensations of anxiety and stress, and even improved heart rate variability and decreased rates of cortisol.
So, look no further for five ways to add a new rhythm and pace to your everyday life than these free and easy Spotify playlists. -JZ
A playlist filled with soft, feather-like piano pieces is a sure way to get that musical peace and clarity you’re looking for. We love playing this playlist during a slow and steady yoga practice at home, or while making your cup of coffee in the morning. It offers just enough of a musical uplift to brighten your day, and no lyrics that will have you belting in the shower or repetitive beats that will leave the melody stuck in your head, either.
Known best for its reputation as the “go-to study playlist” for college students, the Lo-Fi Beats playlist can have anyone lightly tapping their foot and blocking out all of the excess noise from everyday activities. These jazzier, more upbeat tunes will give a little bounce to your step during your morning commute, or give you the afternoon head-
space you’re looking for in the office, without the distraction of catchy lyrics. Hit shuffle and enjoy.
There’s something mesmerizing about the surrounding sound of easy acoustic guitar riffs.
Simply plucking the strings and listening in can have you in a different headspace in no time. Light, fluttering notes that hang in the air will block out exterior noise while you kick your feet back and take a deep breath. Plus, if you’re looking for a soundtrack that will make you feel like you’re floating and weightless, this is it.
Nature is calling … but you can’t get outside. The Fire Sounds playlist gives you the opportunity to hear the chirps and chimes of the outdoors, all while listening to the calming sounds of a crackling fire. If your happy place is at your favorite campsite or cozied up next to your fireplace, this playlist is for you. You won’t have the same physical
warmth, but your mind will be calmer just the same.
“I always sleep better when it rains,” you might have found yourself saying before. If that’s the case, this playlist is your new sound machine. Shuffle through an assortment of rainstorm sounds, some with cracks and rumbles of thunder, and others with the calming sound of raindrops on a windowsill. As an added bonus, you can practice breathing and imagine weathering the storm, no matter what it brings your way.
See the Sunrise
Getting up with the sun isn’t easy. But there are a few spots in the region where the payoff is spectacular. Here are four of our faves. -MK
Sit on the steps. Look left. You’ll remember why you love living in this town. // 2 Lincoln Memorial Circle NW, Washington, DC
Mason Neck State Park
Located in Lorton, the sunrise over the Occoquan River is one of the state’s best. Get a new view by launching a canoe as the sun peeks over the horizon. // 7301 High Point Road, Lorton
Before the boardwalk gets busy, grab a spot and greet the day. There are
plenty of breakfast spots nearby to make a morning of it. // 1 Prince St., Alexandria
Blue Ridge Parkway
This one is worth the drive. Head out when it’s still dark so you can park at
one of the overlooks. The sunrise is stunningly spectacular with the back- drop of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s an outing every Virginian should do at least once. // Multiple overlooks
Fill Your Plate From the Farm
Skip the grocery store produce this summer and go local by supporting NoVA farms through a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Program. One of the local adopters of CSA is Great Country Farms in Bluemont. This farm started its program back in 1993 with 50 inaugural members. Now, 27 years later, the farm offers 20 weeks of harvest box deliveries with over 30 pickup locations across Northern Virginia, ranging from Berryville to Alexandria. Before you sink your teeth into those juicy strawberries and plump tomatoes, Great Country Farms owner Kate Zurschmeide answers everything you need to know before joining your local CSA program. –MK
What are the benefits of buying local through this program compared to the grocery store?
CSAs bring a whole new meaning to local and fresh. We pick items early in the morning and they arrive at our members’ homes or in our market for pickup the same day. Most produce is picked days or weeks in advance of reaching a grocery shelf and have a much bigger carbon footprint from the miles traveled. It is often picked for optimal shipping and storage rather than when fully ripe. We are able to let produce develop its full flavor potential in the field and orchard so our members can savor the peak of flavor. Our CSA is unique among those in the area as we include a season pass to our farm with a CSA membership, so families can come out to the farm to pick and play as often as they like. Our members truly have the opportunity to know their farmer and how their food is grown.
What can a member expect to see in their box each week?
We grow over 60 fruits and vegetables and we are very excited to be working with a new system to help our members customize their delivery based on the items we have available each week. Love tomatoes or want some extra to make sauce? When we have peak tomato production, members will have the option to change up and add more to their weekly box.
What tips or advice do you have for people who want to join a CSA Program?
We recommend members keep in mind that CSA is local and seasonal and delivers produce at peak flavor. It’s not like a grocery store that is shipping in strawberries from all over the world to have them available year-round. Our strawberries ripen in May and last about three weeks and have incredible flavor that is meant to be savored once a season. // Harvest box distribution starts June 2; Great Country Farms: 18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont; $29.95 per month
Declutter your Space
“A cluttered environment leaves a cluttered mind,” says Lavender Menakaya, the owner and founder of Alexandria-based Lavender Organizes, a home organizing company. “It really drains the mind from energy.” Here, Menakaya shares her top tips for decluttering and how to make—and keep—your home a happy place. -HG
What is your decluttering method?
For things clients no longer want, I help them donate to a charity or nonprofit of their choice. After that, we organize. I don’t organize by color coordinating or labeling; that’s not really functional. I think about what items are special, where people expect items to be and the flow of how you use your items in an organized and neat way.
What habits are necessary for home organization?
Spend a little bit of time doing small tasks. Start with making your bed every morning. Have a to-do list to keep track of everything and then spend 15 minutes a week checking things off and organizing the space that needs it most. Finally, when you see something that has no purpose in an area, just take it out.
Which room is typically the hardest to keep decluttered?
The office or study, because of paperwork. People get so busy and there’s all this mail coming in, and office paperwork. The No. 1 rule to help with this is go paper-less. Let’s save the trees! Pay bills online. It will help and it will downsize. With other papers, make a home for everything. Have binders, label them, categorize everything and commit to organizing papers at least twice a week.
Why is having an organized home important?
Clients are always so much happier after decluttering. They tell me the energy is
better; there’s more clarity. They get to be in that space or the room they love that
they used to hate to walk into. Now, they can go in there, sit down and relax and
actually have space to walk around. // Rates begin at $300
Pinpoint your Peace
With roots in medical history long before modern timekeeping was put in place, acupuncture has evolved from using sharp-edged tools to treat bodily abscesses, to balancing energy in the body with barely there thin needles. The practice, although a physical way to pinpoint specific places in the body that may cause muscle tension, pain or other diseases, is also a meditative, relaxing process that has been acknowledged by the National Institutes of Health as an effective therapy on a wide array of health conditions since 1997. Here, we spoke with Dr. Louis Ziegler of the Advanced Health Center in Arlington about acupuncture’s benefits, what treatment looks like and how you can find your way to holistic wellness through the power of energy. -JZ
What is acupuncture and what is it used to treat?
When I start, I always try to explain that acupuncture is a natural therapy that is safe and medicine-free. The needles are extremely thin and they are put in very specific places in order to find energy in the body, which we can’t really see. But because we have an understanding of how energy moves, we are able to place the needles in specific places that release blockages of energy pathways, which, if left blocked, can lead to arthritis, asthma, anxiety and other issues. We can treat a lot of pain, as well as infertility, immune system support, heart issues, menopause and more.
If a reader is coming in for stress relief and muscle tension, what would their treatment look like?
Our sessions are very personalized, and we often have to start by dealing with a lot of fear of needles. When patients think of needles, they often think of large syringes, but these are very thin needles. At times, people will think we’re going to damage a nerve, poke a blood vessel or place a needle somewhere accidentally, but we are very specific. If you’re coming in for headaches, stress or muscle tension, we’ll place needles around your ear and into your spine or near your spine. Depending on the severity of the headaches, we will use specific points over a course of sessions, and maybe somewhere between 10 to 12 needles, depending on a patient’s comfort level.
Aside from the health conditions that acupuncture can treat, what should readers know about the practice helping them find peace?
At our practice, I want people to truly live a healthier kind of life by looking at the core of their problems, and understanding what’s within. People never really think about how they can build a better immune system or have better moods through this type of practice, but I want patients to really take that personally and know they can be healthier and feel better. It’s a challenge, but you have to take the initiative, and then I can give you the tools to feel better with an ancient practice that has been deeply rooted in cultures for thousands of years.
Snuggle up with a Professional
The benefits of physical touch include lowered heart rates and blood pressure, feelings of love and acceptance, reduced symptoms of depression and more. Neuroscientist Edmund Rolls proved that touch activates the brain’s orbitofrontal cortex, linked to feelings of reward and compassion. Touch therapy can come in many forms (think: that massage at your favorite spa or holding hands with your partner) and is a surefire way to feel better. One growing trend? Cuddle therapy. Professional cuddlers are paid to cuddle—platonically—if you don’t have a friend available for a snuggle sesh. Here, we spoke with Arlington-based professional cuddler Indigo Dawn to find out more. -HG
Describe cuddle therapy.
Cuddle therapy fills a niche that is complementary to traditional talk therapy. In the traditional mental health profession, therapists can do a lot of great work but cannot touch clients, and touch is a core human need. It releases oxytocin and it also facilitates the development of authentic connection and the type of secure attachment that some people may have never had in its fullness. It can really provide a base for health and wellness and happiness.
How is a typical session formatted?
I will have clients sit across from me and talk about the basis of our session, that we are willing to speak up if something’s uncomfortable, just being really honest with each other. Then I will talk about explicit boundaries of the space to reaffirm and create the structure, because without me feeling safe, the type of healing that this service can provide is not possible. I give the client an opportunity to share their personal touch boundaries. I talk about the types of touch that I really love and ask them if they really love them too. I lead a short meditation. Then from there I will open up the space and I’ll ask them, “What do you most want in this moment, knowing you can change your mind because it’s a wide-open space?” Most clients have been envisioning spooning or what’s called the koala-style cuddle, but all sessions look different.
What are the main benefits for your clients?
I haven’t yet had a session where a client didn’t leave with a little smile on their face, and the tension drops in their jaw and their face around their eyes, their shoulders. Their breathing slows and there’s a visceral relaxation. Many clients will come away with an empowered sense of connection and self-awareness and self-esteem. // Sessions begin at
$100 an hour
Take a Sound Bath
An ancient Tibetan ritual, a sound bath is a meditation technique featuring chimes, gongs, drums and singing bowls, which create sound waves for participants to ‘bathe’ in, prompting relaxation, self-reflection and a decrease in blood pressure and heart rate. A typical session includes sitting or lying on the floor, as a sound frequency specialist plays ambient sounds for you to wash away your stress. // Find classes at Vienna’s Cowface Yoga; The Yogi Underground in Falls Church; Sun & Moon Yoga Studio in Arlington and Fairfax; and Alexandria’s YogaToka. –HG
Spend Some Time in America’s Fittest City
In 2019, Arlington was named the nation’s fittest city by the American College of Sports Medicine. Here, we share three ways to spend a health-focused day in the NoVA suburb.
Where to Break a Sweat: Break a sweat, save the world. At Rosslyn-based Good Sweat, you can get your workout in and also spin for a local charity. Each month, the social-impact cycle studio donates a percentage of its funds to a different NoVA-based organization that riders help choose. Not yet sold? No problem, as your first ride is free. // 1711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington
Where to Eat: When you hop off the bike, make your way to Ballston’s True Food Kitchen. The bright and colorful foodie destination offers a menu inspired by renowned physician Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, featuring fresh, innovative dishes (like a burger made from quinoa or edamame dumplings) that are as delicious as they are good for you. If you choose to indulge in sips with your meal, you have that option too, as the simple syrups for cocktails are made in-house with natural ingredients and the entire wine list consists of organically, sustainably or biodynamically farmed bottles. // 4238 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1110, Arlington
Where to Enjoy the Scene: Walk over to Arlington’s Bon Air Park, which is just over 1 mile from True Food Kitchen. The expansive 24-acre destination includes playgrounds for youngsters, picnic areas, a scenic stream and multiple walking trails. The main attraction though is the memorial rose garden, bursting in spring with blue azaleas, pink roses and ornamental tree gardens. When you’re ready for a rest, take a seat on the shaded benches, admire the view and pat yourself on the back for surviving a day with the fittest of them all. // 601 N. Manchester St., Arlington
Write Your Way to Happiness
With the power of a pen and small time commitment each week, you’ll be feeling more positive in no time. -JZ
A gratitude journal requires around 15 minutes of your day, one to three times a week, and gives you the opportunity to reflect. You can simply list three specific things you were grateful for (people, places, lucky moments) or you can follow a writing journey through a specific notebook.
According to the University of California Berkeley, gratitude journaling forces us to see and focus on the positive things in our life, rather than just recounting negative things, and in a 2003 study, “Participants who kept a gratitude journal weekly for 10 weeks or daily for two weeks experienced more gratitude, positive moods, optimism about the future and better sleep.”
In search of the perfect notebook? Erin Condren’s PetitePlanner Gratitude Journal Edition 1 offers short writing prompts, 30-day plans and just enough space for your short and sweet answers. Plus, a sticker sheet to make your own journal photo-worthy. Pick yours up in the Mosaic District. // 2905 District Ave., Suite 135, Fairfax; $14