According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide struggle with depression: a debilitating mental illness. The impact of this disorder is often overlooked or minimized. But the reality is that depression has very real and very damaging effects on its sufferers, from feelings of intense sadness to fatigue, an inability to think or concentrate, disrupted sleep patterns, and suicidal thoughts. Fortunately, individuals can seek treatment for this disease and also employ additional methods on their own, which lessen the severity of the aforementioned symptoms. With those treatment methods in mind, here are 3 destinations you should definitely check out in Newport News, VA, if you’re feeling depressed:

1) The Mariner’s Museum Park

If you’re feeling depressed, take a trip to The Mariner’s Museum Park where you can enjoy the great outdoors. According to a multitude of research, immersing yourself in nature offers incredible mental and physical health benefits.

Activities such as hiking, camping, or even taking a leisure walk outside can boost your immune system, lower blood pressure, improve your mood, and increase energy levels—which makes this park the perfect destination when you’re feeling a little off. You can choose to explore the 550 acres of woods, run or walk the five-mile Noland Trail, have a picnic on the shoreline of Lake Maury, or take in the beauty of it all on the famous Lions Bridge, which overlooks the James River. In any given case, you can’t go wrong—visiting the park will prove to relieve those negative thoughts and offer a more positive outlook.

2) The Peninsula Fine Arts Center

Another place worth visiting in Newport News if you’re feeling depressed or down on yourself is the Peninsula Fine Arts Center (Pfac), which offers a variety of exhibitions, adult art classes, and youth art workshops. Like nature, art has proven to soothe the soul and has even become the foundation for an innovative clinical therapy: simply named, art therapy. While this form of therapy can only be administered by certified professionals, it is built on the notion that art is a powerful source, which proves to have a positive impact on one’s overall wellbeing. So, pay this center a visit and experience the amazing benefits of art for yourself: you might choose to tour the galleries, which are changed four times a year; attend a clay, painting, or drawing workshop; or even volunteer your time to help at the center. In any regard, you’ll reap the soothing benefits of immersing yourself in a creative and artistic environment.

3) Hampton Roads Iceplex

Last but certainly not least, plan an outing to Hampton Roads Iceplex in Newport News if you aren’t in the best of spirits. This ice skating rink offers a variety of ice skating activities, from figure skating to ice dancing, ice hockey, and beginner skating lessons. This may sound intimidating to some, especially those who aren’t comfortable on the ice or those who have never stepped foot on the ice, but all the more reason to pay this rink a visit! Not only will you reap the benefits that come with exercising—such as an overall improvement in mood and wellbeing—you will also see firsthand how stepping out of your comfort zone can do your mind some good. What are you waiting for? Get yourself out of bed and ready for a day of adventure. It might be difficult, but you’ll be thankful you did.

Take control of your life and find out more about managing your depression or negative thoughts: seek counseling at Thriveworks in Newport News. This team of skilled mental health professionals will provide you with the information or guidance you need, which may pertain to depression or a variety of other topics: anxiety, addiction, relationships, career development, low self-esteem, and more. Make an appointment right now by calling us at (757) 657-8088 or visiting our website.