Do you ever just feel totally unhappy for no good reason? I know I do. I wake up on the wrong side of the bed. I let one little thing ruin my mood. And I throw a pity party for myself when I feel the least bit off. However, I’ve decided to turn over a new leaf and instead of wallowing in pity, climb out of my rut. A key to doing so successfully? Leaving the house! If you’re trying to get back to your happy place, get out of bed and explore these 3 places in Alexandria, VA:

1) Nectar Del Ray Coffee & Wine Bistro

When I’m sulking in negativity or depressive thoughts start to take over, all I want to do is sip some steaming hot coffee and bury my nose in a book. One might assume I do this in the comfort of my home, but that assumption would be wrong: I’ve found that getting out of the house does wonders for my mood and overall wellbeing. So, I throw my book in my bag, and I head over to one of my favorite coffee shops like Nectar Del Ray Coffee & Wine Bistro in Alexandria, VA. Nectar Del Rey offers a soothing environment and delicious coffee during the day—perfect for nursing my mind back to its happy place—and an assortment of wines and brews at night. They also serve yummy food throughout the day, which is sure to comfort you when you’re feeling down. If you pay a visit to Nectar Del Ray, I guarantee you’ll leave with a renewed smile on your face.

2) Clay Café Studios

A few years ago, I had some trouble finding a summer job. I submitted applications to all the local restaurants and shops, but all of the other college students had beat me to the punch. This left me with absolutely nothing to do. Sure, this was nice for a few days, but I quickly became bored and increasingly unhappy. After about a month of sulking around, I finally found a meaningful way to spend my time: painting. It’s true what they say—art is healing. I learned this firsthand. And you can too, all you have to do is walk through the doors of Clay Café Studios. This studio has a wide variety of ceramics and mosaics for you to paint, from kitchen and dinnerware sets to figurines, boxes, vases, frames, mirrors, plaques, and more. Just take your pick and then go to town with over 150 different colors of paint. And it doesn’t matter if you aren’t the most creative or artistic person—everybody can benefit from surrendering themselves to art.

3) Busboys and Poets

In grade school, I was one of those kids that groaned any time the teacher gave out a poetry assignment. I was anti-poetry. Didn’t understand it, didn’t like it. However, that changed about a year ago when I came across the book Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. I fell in love with the way she arranged her words and more importantly how her words moved me. I am by no means a poet today, but I do finally appreciate the power of poetry. And I challenge you to do the same. Visit Busboys and Poets, which is just outside of Alexandria, to listen to talented artists recite their poems, perform short skits, and even tell a funny joke or two. You can also come here to gather your thoughts while enjoying some pretty awesome food and observing the beautiful artwork strewn upon the walls. In any regard, Busboys and Poets will prove to transport your mind to a happier place.

It’s okay to not feel happy all the time. But it’s also okay to demand more. Learn all about your mental health, happiness, and wellbeing by visiting a mental health professional at Thriveworks in Alexandria. We offer a range of services from individual counseling to couples counseling, life coaching, and more. Make an appointment right now by giving us a call at (703) 828-9054 or visiting our website.

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