The holidays may be the best time of the year, but they can also be the most stressful. If you feel yourself getting stressed, take a step back and relax for a little while. Relaxing can be good for you in many ways, such as by:

  • Lessening your risk of heart disease, stroke, and depression
  • Lowering your chances of catching a cold
  • Improving your memory
  • Helping you make better decisions
  • Making it easier to watch what you eat

So for your own well-being, find a few minutes to chill out every day. Sometimes lounging on the couch with a book or taking a bubble bath at home will do the trick, but other times you just need to get out of the house. Denver is packed with bustling places to eat, drink, and shop, but there are also lots of places where it is perfect to unwind.

Take your book to one of Denver’s coffee shops

Crema Coffee House, located at 2862 Larimer Street in Denver, boasts a wide selection of coffees. The hours are rather limited compared to most coffeehouses, since Crema closes at 5 p.m., but the menu is good enough to make up for it. Unique dishes, like sweet potato waffles or the Korean Reuben sandwich, can give you a perfect excuse to go out for lunch when you need to relax.

Hooked on Colfax is at 3213 E. Colfax Avenue. Not only does Hooked on Colfax have lots of coffee options, but its menu has options for everything from vegan to gluten-free. Special items utilize seasonal items as they’re available. Also, Hooked on Colfax has a bar with wines, Colorado beers, and more, so if you really need to unwind, you can enjoy a latte with house-made Kahlua.

Bardo Coffee House is located at 238 S. Broadway. It’s got good coffee, plenty of seating, and tasty foods. It’s also got extremely long hours, so you can drop in here for a coffee almost any time of the day or night.

Skip lunch and go for afternoon tea instead

iN-TEA at 2440 W. Main St., Littleton, is both a teahouse and a bar. Go here to grab a bite to eat, enjoy a cup of tea, or unwind with a tea cocktail. Check the events page for classes on everything from holiday teas to the health benefits of teas.

House of Commons is at 2401 15th St. in Denver, with its entrance on Platte Street just north of 15th. It’s a very traditional teahouse, with delicious English foods and a huge selection of teas. You can stop in here for a meal, or you can go for afternoon tea to enjoy small portions of different sandwiches and sweets.

Steep Tea and Coffee is located at 4100 E. 8th Ave. in Denver. If none of their many teas tempt you, try a coffee or smoothie. You can also pick up a bite to eat here, from baked goods to sandwiches.

Get a massage

Highland Massage Company is at 5110 W. 38th Ave. in Denver. This is a locally-owned operation. You can get a massage specifically tailored to your needs here. You can even get a custom signature facial treatment, so if you’re really stressing, go here to get pampered for a couple of hours.

Peace of Mind Massage, Inc., at 1249 S. Pearl St. in Denver, offers a huge array of massage services, from deep tissue to TMJ to neuromuscular. This company specializes in therapeutic massage for chronic pain, stress, and injuries, so it’s the place to go if you’re feeling the holiday stress.

Symmetry Therapeutic Massage has three locations, so there’s sure to be one close to you. This place has a ton of massage styles and options, but you can generally expect a massage that incorporates multiple styles to make sure you get the most effective massage possible. Also, if the wind and snow are leaving you chilled, check out the hot herbal steam treatments in the services here – followed by a long, relaxing massage, of course.

Take advantage of one of Denver’s meditation centers

The Shambhala Meditation Center is located at 2305 S. Syracuse Way in Denver, and it’s a great choice whether you’ve been meditating for years or are a total newbie. Lots of discussions and seminars take place here, so keep an eye on the programs. Additionally, open meditation takes place three days a week (check the website for times), so anyone can come in for some quiet time. During the Sunday open meditation, there’s an open house with a short discussion, instruction, and group meditation, followed by refreshments.

If you’re new to meditation, the Kadampa Meditation Center at 1081 Marion Street in Denver has lots of classes to help you get started. There’s also a 30 minute noontime meditation, perfect for a quick getaway in the middle of the day. If you’re looking for a more in-depth meditation study, check out Kadampa’s retreats.

Mayu Inc., soon to be the Mayu Meditation Cooperative, is at 1804 S. Pearl St. in Denver. Mayu offers several classes, but if you’re unable to get to their location for some reason, you can still take part by watching live-streamed classes (or pre-recorded, if you miss the live streaming). To get all the benefits that Mayu offers, get a membership. Then you can drop in Monday through Saturday for meditation, hot tea, and even foot baths. You can also request an MP3 player and headphones to listen to guided meditations.

Where do you go to relax in the Denver area?

Image by Hey Paul Studios via Flickr

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