According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), an estimated 16.1 million American adults suffer with depression every single year. This illness, while often overlooked or misunderstood, comes with damaging effects and symptoms such as a loss of appetite, disrupted sleep, feelings of hopelessness, unhappiness, and an inability to think straight. Fortunately, those who suffer with depression or depressive thoughts can seek treatment, such as therapy or medication, as well as employ helpful techniques on their own that welcome happiness instead of negativity. In consideration of these techniques, here are 3 places in Virginia Beach, VA that won’t disappoint or fail to challenge those depressive thoughts:

1) First Landing State Park

First Landing State Park is the perfect place to visit when you can’t shake those depressive thoughts, as it offers a variety of fun and relaxing activities. If you have an adventurous side, consider exploring the 20 miles of trail or the 1.5 miles of sandy beach; check out the many swamps and lagoons; and discover rare plants and wildlife. If, on the other hand, you prefer more relaxed activities, spend the night in a cabin by the water, set up a nice picnic, or rent a bicycle and go on a relaxing bike ride. All of these activities—adventurous and relaxing alike—will prove to combat your depressive thoughts, as spending time in nature has shown time and time again to relieve stress and increase overall feelings of happiness. Take advantage of these perks by visiting First Landing State park whenever you feel those negative thoughts threaten to seep in again.

2) Jump Virginia Beach

Another great place to visit when you’re feeling down is Jump Trampoline Park in Virginia Beach. This is a different kind of park than the one previously mentioned—instead of embracing the great outdoors, you’ll be immersing yourself in an exciting trampoline world! If you’ve never been to a trampoline park before, believe me when I say it’s incredible: the floors and the walls are bouncy trampolines, which you can jump on, ricochet off of, and utilize as your own personal gymnastics stage. Not only does this place guarantee fun, it promises to relieve you of those depressive thoughts and feelings. This may be a creative approach to exercise, but it’s exercise nonetheless, which means you’ll leave the park feeling happier, less stressed, and reawakened.

3) Cape Henry Lighthouse

One more place worth visiting when you’re trying to overcome depressive thoughts is Cape Henry Lighthouse. This is the more relaxed option of the three, as it doesn’t involve any demanding activity. Instead, you can visit the lighthouse, learn all about its history, visit the “First Landing” site (where English settlers arrived in 1607) located next to the lighthouse, and have a nice picnic or read a book to conclude your outing. When we engage in depressive thoughts, a most effective remedy is focusing on something positive—which is often difficult because of the ever-present negativity. However, places like Cape Henry Lighthouse will allow you to shift your focus and alter your perspective. Utilize this opportunity to reconnect with the happier you.

You don’t have to face these depressive thoughts alone: take an additional step toward managing them and improving your mental health by seeing a therapist or counselor. The Thriveworks Virginia Beach Counseling team is available and ready to help you, whether you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, an abusive relationship, a low self-esteem, or dealing with any other given issue. Make an appointment right now by calling us at (757) 317-4315 or visiting our website.