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One of the best parts about LA is that we are blessed with some truly beautiful green spaces and parks, the trick is knowing where to find them. That’s where we come in. Here are the perfect spots to take a walk, disconnect, and breathe in some fresh air.
Pack a lunch and head over to Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area in Baldwin Hills — you’re going to want to stay all day. Green and lush, it’s one of the largest inner-city parks in LA. And there’s so much to do! Fishing, hiking, barbecue pits, trails, and pretty much every type of sports court or field. Your only dilemma will be what to try first.
Everyone knows that Griffith Observatory is awesome, but the observatory grounds are pretty darn cool in their own right. Did you know the beautiful green lawn is also a scale model of our solar system? It’s true — the center of the solar system is right in front of the North Doors, and you can explore outward from there. Once you’ve finished venturing into space, don’t forget to snap a few pictures of the amazing city views before heading inside to check out the observatory.
With stunning views of LA and the Hollywood Sign, this cool little park in East Hollywood is the perfect spot to get away from it all. Picnic on the grass, take in some of the art, or watch one of the best sunsets the city has to offer. Fitt Tip: in the summer, get a group together for one of their weekly Barnsdall Friday Night Wine Tastings. Just make sure to snag tickets early — they sell out quick!
A vibrant urban park in the heart of downtown, Grand Park is packed with things to see and do. Bright pink benches, a giant fountain, and even a Starbucks in the park — what’s not to love? But the best part of Grand Park is that there’s almost always something going on: workout events, art shows, concerts, and food trucks. Lots of food trucks.
Right in the middle of the concrete jungle we call Westwood sits this little botanical garden on UCLA’s campus. It’s the perfect place for nature-lovers to get their fix while staying in the city. Enjoy the shady wooded areas, luscious plants, and little streams with turtles and fish. It’s hard to find a more relaxing spot in the middle of LA.
It’s impossible to talk about beautiful green spaces in LA without mentioning Palisades Park. This 1.5-mile park right off Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica provides some of the most picturesque ocean views in the city. Once you’re finished enjoying the park, simply cross the street and you’re steps away from some of the best restaurants in Santa Monica (Sugarfish, anyone?).
This seven-acre rose garden is truly a hidden gem. Adjacent to the USC campus, the entrance to the rose garden is on State Drive. Once you’re finished strolling amongst all the beautiful flowers, pop over to the Natural History Museum or watch a game at the Coliseum — both are only steps away.
Ever wanted to go back in time to Hollywood’s golden age? Well, a visit to Wattles Garden Park is probably about as close as you can get. The grounds of the Wattles Estate, on North Curson Ave., are lush and inviting. Enjoy the garden, the trails, and the peacefulness right in the heart of Hollywood.
It’s hard to believe that this 6.2-acre park in Santa Monica was essentially a parking lot a few years ago. This urban oasis features extra-special touches like fountains, sculptures, and lily pads, making it the perfect little escape. The paths are great for running, and there are also nice built-in dining areas for a lunch break.
A secret Japanese garden on the roof of a popular downtown hotel? Count us in. The half-acre space features gorgeous plants and flowers, fountains, ponds, and even a waterfall. While this luxurious destination is technically only meant for hotel guests, it’s completely worth it if you get the chance to go. Just ride the elevator up to the garden level (but shhhh!).
While it might be odd to think of a cemetery as a “beautiful green space”, we Angelenos know that Hollywood Forever is no ordinary cemetery. Walk the grounds and take in the history — you’ll see the final resting places of some of the world’s most famous people. And there are always events going on; seeing a concert or watching an outdoor movie at the cemetery is a truly unique experience.
Since 1992, April has been recognized as Stress Awareness Month. It was established to help shed light on the issues behind stress, teach us how to fight it, and create methods to overcome it. While this initiative has existed just shy of three decades, this year it seems particularly important.
With a year under our belts in pandemic mode—a lot of us had to get creative when it came to keeping our cool. On top of that, everyday stresses didn’t just magically disappear during this time either. Just think about it—have you ever been in a situation that was overwhelming? Maybe you’ve had a looming deadline or a to-do list that seems, well...totally un-doable? If you’ve ever felt you were in over your head, please know you’re not alone—you never are. At one time or another, we’ve all been affected by stress—although each person may manifest it differently. Me? I'm definitely a frequent rider on the "hot mess stress express."
There are many ways to help combat stress—some of us seek out support from friends and family, while others find solace in taking up meditation or unwinding with a relaxing yoga class. Whatever helps you find peace, just keep doing you. But also know we have some resources to help you overcome stress whenever the need arises.
Here are some blog posts that are always available to you when you feel a little stressed out:
When in doubt, breathwork expert and sound healer, Shanila Sattar, always has tips to help ground yourself—especially in times of need. In this blog post, she gives you the recipe for incorporating self-love into your daily routine by encouraging us to ask ourselves these questions: How do we treat ourselves? How do we talk to ourselves? What foods are we putting into our bodies? How are we thinking about our overall well-being when practicing self-love? As we all know, self-love defines and redefines itself for everyone over the years, here are a few foundational tips to think about when easing into your self-love journey.
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years and it aims to restore the mind, body, and soul through deep, guided meditation. The way it works is like the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. I describe it as a long-form of savasana—anywhere from 30 minutes to one hour. (Real talk: savasana is one of the best parts of practicing yoga, am I right?)
TLDR: I learned that I could conquer stress in a matter of minutes with Yoga Nidra.
Are we safe in saying this last year brought up a ton of emotions the likes of which we did not plan for? The good, the bad, the “unprecedented”—our hearts and minds have been taken on a wild rollercoaster ride, and for many of us, our mental health is suffering. With our minds running in thousands of directions, it’s hard to notice our own needs. Yes, our attention to the goings-on of last year is vital but caring for ourselves is as important as ever. Here are some tips from our favorite yoga instructor, Dani Schenone.
Have you been feeling it? The big emotion floating around the last year is the Big Anxiety. Coupled with the stress of what the COVID-19 pandemic has bought for millions of people, disturbed wellness routines, and worry, we have a recipe to create massive damage to ourselves. Adjusting to the new normal, with social distancing practices in place and adapting to precautions and routines, may be the root of even more anxiousness for many as we’re navigating uncharted territories.
If you've got those familiar feelings of stress and anxiety coursing through your body right now, you're definitely not alone. We get it. Times are uncertain, our mental health is taxed, we're doing what we can to reduce stress and anxiety in general, and relaxation has taken a back seat. It’s no secret that stress is proven to weaken our immunity, so now more than ever, it's important to relax, deal with what's happening, and find the coping mechanisms to help you reclaim your mental health and reduce your involvement in stressed moments. Let's deal with stress and anxiety together and see what we can do to reduce them.
Meditation will change your life if you let it. The pace of our modern life is at least ten times what it was just 10 years ago. Technology improved our lives but also created a more frenetic and stressful pace. If we decided to stop, breathe, and become more mindful, we would reduce stress and experience much more enjoyment in each moment of our everyday lives.
There’s always something to worry about. Whether it’s our career, relationships, dating, or trauma, we go through moments that bombard us with negative thoughts that can make us feel anxious and stressed. Our worries may often define our choices, our view of the world, or ourselves. This doesn’t mean they are faults, flaws, or downfalls—we just need to practice managing them in a healthy way, placing deserved value on self-care. Yoga is only one connection. Check out these seven yoga poses that can help your mind and body when you’re experiencing anxiety, depression, or overall stress.
We’re all guilty of our routines and habits running our lives at one point or another. We’re all guilty of being attached to our schedules and our to-do list. We’re all guilty of running on a loop every now and then. As the energies of 2021 continue to shift, we get to ask ourselves the intentions of why and how we are participating in the places we are participating in, the thoughts we are thinking, the habits we are cultivating, and the communities that we are a part of. This intention and mindfulness process can not only shift our own experiences but of those around us as well.
If you have found meditation to be useful in trying times, right now is an incredible time to also try virtual sound baths to receive the deep sound healing benefits. As many of us are processing a variety of emotions as a collective—stress, worry, fear, anxiety, uncertainty—we can start to cause long-term damage to our bodies, especially to our immune and nervous systems. Giving ourselves self-care in a way that is easy, non-intrusive, and simple, can be the perfect way to help your body restore.
These resources aren’t the only thing we have to help you deal with stress—they’re just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, there are tons of classes available to you on the Mindbody app and through Mindbody Flex to help you reignite your calm whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed. And always remember, at the end of the day, your best is always good enough.