It’s a given that you’ll experience stress and anxiety from time-to-time: perhaps when your car doesn’t start or you move to a new, unfamiliar city; when you have an important deadline coming up or when you go through a bad breakup. When events of the like occur, it’s okay to admit that you’re not in the best place—but it’s important you do what you can to take care of yourself through these tough times. So, the next time stress or anxiety insists on boggling your mind, take proactive measures to return to your happy place again. These three destinations in Alexandria, VA are sure to help you do so:

1) Torpedo Factory Art Center


If you’re struggling with anxiety or stress is wreaking havoc on your life, pay the Torpedo Factor Art Center a visit. Multiple studies have shown the stress-relieving effects of art, as well as its ability to heal. In fact, it’s been turned into a form of therapy due to the many mental health benefits of creating art or immersing yourself in a creative environment. Capitalize on these benefits and check out this art center, which is home to a large collection of 82 studios and 6 galleries. Not only will you get to see the many beautiful works of art that live here, but you can also meet some of the artists and watch them hard at work. Visiting the Torpedo Factory Art Center will without a doubt relieve the stress and anxiety you’re experiencing and inspire your heart with art.

2) The Old Town Farmer’s Market


If you’ve been dealing with an immense amount of stress or anxiety, another great place to visit is the farmer’s market in Old Town Alexandria’s Market Square, which is open every Saturday morning year-round. You can get fresh produce here from meat to dairy, fish, fruits, and vegetables, which will make for a healthy and nutritious meal! According to a plethora of research, eating well is not only vital to our physical health but our mental health as well: a healthy diet builds self-esteem, improves your overall energy levels, increases brain function, reduces depressive symptoms, and, perhaps most importantly—considering the stress and anxiety you’re experiencing—improves mood. Furthermore, you can meet and socialize with new people while you’re doing your shopping, which has also proven to positively influence mental health.

3) Dora Kelley Nature Park


Another destination to add to the list if life’s stresses are getting the best of you is Dora Kelley Nature Park, a 50-acre wildlife sanctuary in Alexandria. You can walk or run the one-mile long nature trail, which features streams, cascading hills, and freshwater marshland; you can sign up for a naturalist-led tour of the park; or you can have a peaceful picnic with loved ones. These are just a few of the many possibilities—you can enjoy countless of other activities here and still step away from your stress or anxiety, as spending time in nature will prove to boost your mood, lower your blood pressure, and offer other amazing health benefits. Now, go check out all this park has to offer and watch the stress and anxiety you’re experiencing melt away in no-time.

You don’t have to manage your stress or anxiety alone—reach out to a counselor or coach at Thriveworks in Alexandria. The best-of-the-best mental health professionals are here and ready to provide you with the assistance you need, which may relate to stress, anxiety, or a multitude of other issues like addiction, depression, low self-esteem, abuse, codependency, and more. Individual counseling, couples counseling, and life-coaching is available to you; just schedule an appointment by calling (703) 828-9054 or visiting our website.

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