Depression is no joke: it is an illness with harrowing effects, including intense sadness, a change in energy levels, feelings of worthlessness, and an inability to think straight. Fortunately, several treatment methods—such as therapy and medication—are effective in relieving or lessening these negative effects, and recent research continues to shed light on additional techniques that prove to help individuals battle this illness. With those in mind, here are a few places to go if you’re feeling depressed in Sterling, VA, which will help you fight those depressive thoughts:

1) Algonkian Regional Park

A scientifically-proven stress reliever and mood booster is spending time in nature—which makes Algonkian Regional Park the perfect place to go in Sterling if you’re feeling depressed. This 838-acre park offers a wide variety of outdoor activities: you might take a liking to their golf course, which follows the Potomac River; or you may choose to spend your time kayaking or canoeing the river. Other activities include fishing, hiking, playing mini golf, picnicking, playing on the playground, and camping out in their riverfront cottages. You may also choose to simply explore the expanse of the park. The only requirement for receiving the many health benefits that come with immersing yourself in nature is that you get outside!

2) Escape Room Loudon

Another great place to go in Sterling, VA, if you’re feeling depressed or down on yourself, is Escape Room Loudon. This exciting game is sure to get your adrenaline pumping and transport your mind to another place. Oftentimes, we get caught up in negative thoughts and the best fix is to focus on something else entirely: in this case, the mysterious rooms, puzzling clues, and undeniable fun you’re having. Escape Room Loudon offers a variety of adventure games including “The Five Fingered Discount,” in which you carry out a huge bank robbery, and “Crime at Paradise Casino,” where you assist the police in saving a beloved casino. Not only do these activities give your mind a break from those depressed thoughts, but they also create an opportunity to socialize with others—which plays an essential role in our mental health and wellbeing. Now go grab some buddies, and check this place out!

3) Sportrock Climbing Centers

The third and final destination on our list is the Sportrock Climbing Centers: the perfect place to relieve stress, release endorphins, and improve your mood. Like spending time in nature, exercising has proven to increase feelings of happiness and decrease depressive thoughts. Furthermore, trying new things and switching up your normal routine can also have a positive impact on your wellbeing—which means climbing some rock walls, as opposed to running on the treadmill or lifting weights at the gym like you normally do, may be the way to go. However, if you find that rock-climbing just isn’t your cup of tea, additional exercise opportunities are available here, such as yoga and conventional gym equipment. So, what are you waiting for? Pay Sportrock Climbing Centers a visit to check out their roped and bouldering walls, sweat it out during a yoga session, or give their fitness facility a test-run. Regardless of the route you take, you’ll leave the center feeling better than before.

If you want to find out more about managing depression and depressive thoughts, consider meeting with a skilled member of the Thriveworks Sterling Counseling team. These mental health professionals can provide you with individual counseling, couples counseling, and life coaching; they can also help you with a wide variety of issues, including those relating to depression, relationships, anxiety, addiction, career concerns, and more. Book an appointment today by calling us at (703) 348-5217 or visiting our website.