We can all be found guilty of becoming a bit of a ‘stress head’ from time to time, but who can blame us? What with impending deadlines and having to deal with—how do we put this—b*s in our day-to-day lives, it can be hard to remember to take time out and to breeeeathe.
Yes, a two-week vacay in a Bali bach would be the dream scenario but we don’t always have the time, money or a magical genie lamp to fulfil such wishes.
Instead of your cliche stress ball, that has taking one too many squeezes (soz!), why not visit one of these Auckland spots, guaranteed to fuel your fire and put a great big smile on your face!
1. Barista Cat Cafe
We can’t argue that a heart-felt cuddle or hug is sure to get you smiling, but we all know that a fur-induced, floppy-eared snuggle, is just that little bit better. If you don’t have your own four-legged friend, you don’t have to miss out on those sloppy kisses —no, no—instead, head on over to Barista Cat Cafe for some instant mood boosting of your own. Grab a coffee, get acquainted with the resident kitties and get ready for a whole lotta patting, stroking and ‘you’re coming home with meeeee’s.’
2. Orakei Basin
We might not be able to run away from our stresses and troubles altogether but it sure doesn’t hurt to try. To truly get those endorphins flowing, nothing beats a run. Whether it’s a brief jog around the block or a sprint in the park, lace up those trainers and get out there! Orakei Basin is the perfect track for all levels and by sticking on your go-to, motivational playlist (FYI, Eye Of The Tiger is a winner!) you’ll be ready to run that half marathon in no time and those frustrations will be released in a healthy way!
3. Float Culture
For one of the most out-there and alternative ways to relieve stress and feel good, why not de-robe and slide on into one of Float Culture’s floatation tanks? A one-hour session is the equivalent to four hours quality rest and with no temptation of electronic devices to distract you, you can completely unwind and switch off. Leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to take on the day like a complete boss!
4. The Container Library
Sometimes, all you need, is a good book. Whether you’re into your nail-biting thrillers or romantic tear-jerkers, burying your head in a complete page-turner is a great way to relax and feed the soul. The Container Library down by Auckland’s Viaduct is one of the coolest spots to slouch down and enjoy the collection of donated books. With glorious views of the harbour and with a great read in hand, you’ll be smiling from the inside out in no time.
5. Chapter Book & Tea Shop
If you still want to feel the benefits of reading but fancy doing so with a cuppa in your other hand, look no further than Chapter Book & Tea Shop. With more than 300 teas on offer, alongside sweet and savoury snacks and a diverse display of books and novels, this is the perfect spot for switching off from the world. With green tea being a source of ‘L-Theanie’, which is proven to actively reduce stress and anger, grab yourself a pot of the good stuff and take those soothing sips.
6. North Head
There’s certainly no need to take a five-day yoga retreat every time you start feeling the pinch. Instead, just a five-minute spout of ‘me time’ is all it takes to reap the benefits of meditation. Head to Devonport’s very own North Head for a quiet spot where you can focus on your breathing and feel your anxieties slip away. Simple, deep breaths are proven to help focus the mind and ease worries. Remember, if in doubt, stretch it out!
7. Auckland Botanical Gardens
For a complete, outdoor mood booster, simply surround yourself in flowers and uplifting scents. For the perfect, petal-filled place, try Auckland’s very own Botanical Gardens. Take a stroll through the greenery, immerse yourself in all the stunning foliage and breathe in all of the incredible scents. Try being angry with a nose full of roses, we dare you.
8. The Classic
They say that laughter is the best medicine and we certainly can’t argue with that. For a quick and guaranteed pick me up, head on over to The Classic for belly laughs galore. With something going on every night and hosting some of the best local and international acts, you are sure to leave with a side stitch and a grin from ear to ear.
9. Cakes N Ladders
Hanging out with friends is always a good time. Whether it’s meeting for a coffee and catch up or just picking up the phone, you know that you’re bound to feel instantly at ease. To take your coffee date to a new level of ‘cool’ and to focus your mind on other things, head on over to Eden Terrace’s very own Cakes N Ladders. Take part in a good, old-fashioned game of Trivial Pursuit and forget all about your worries and your troubles as you score a (hopeful!) win.
10. Long Bay
Just about everyone will agree that the sun makes everything better. With bright, sunny skies and warm weather to get amongst, who can deny it’s ability to put a smile on our faces? Forget staring out of the window, instead grab your togs and head outside to make the most of the Auckland sun! Bright, natural light is a proven pick-me-up and so with that in mind, why not head to Auckland’s very own Long Bay for a secluded and vast slice of heaven?
11. Mt Eden
Sometimes we need reminding of the fact that we live in such a beautiful and bountiful city. Where better to remember this than at the top of Mount Eden. With some of the most stellar, panoramic views of Auckland, and with ample space to have some alone time, this may be one of the more predictable spots, but boy, it’s one of the best.
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Image credit: Float Culture via Facebook