Looking for ways to de-stress this winter but not have to travel too far from the city? Here are 10 things you can do without having to leave Montreal this winter to keep the stress at bay.
What better way to de-stress than to visit the spa and relax while enjoying the beautiful winter surroundings? “But it’s Winter!”, you say? Strom Spa on Nuns Island in Montreal is a Nordic spa with thermal pools that allow you to relax outdoors, no matter what the weather is like. They also offer indoor and outdoor relaxation areas with fireplaces and a saunas and steam baths that will keep you warm. Bring a book or just enjoy the peace and quiet to help you get through winter and take your mind off of your daily stressors.
Get a massage
Massage therapy can do much more than relax you. It can help to counteract any imbalances from sitting in an office chair all day, it can ease muscle pain, help you improve your sleep, relieve headaches and helps with the stress and low moods that winter can bring on. Montreal has a number of certified massage therapists licensed by the Association des Massothérapeutes that you can visit for a session or more.
It will be the Biodome’s 25th anniversary this year and there will be plenty of relaxing activities for those looking to do something outside of the home. Attend the penguin feeding time, see the many collections and exhibits, or go on a behind-the-scenes tour to see things that most visitors don’t get to see.
Mont Tremblant Village
Only about 1-hour out of the city, the Mont Tremblant village has lovely scenery, shops, and other activities to keep you busy and help you destress. Set within the Laurentien Mountains and on the shores of Lake Tremblant, this village is equipped for winter sports, a pedestrian shopping village, hiking trails and canoeing. With so many activities, your mind will be busy enjoying itself and forgetting all of your daily stressors.
See Montreal from Above
Mont-Royal is the perfect place to get a great view of the city and enjoy the outdoors. While it is still in the city, it is a great retreat for city folk looking for a beautiful and relaxing place to go. You can ski, hike, have a picnic, and take amazing panoramic pics from the top of the mountain at multiple look-out points.
Tickle your tastebuds
If you enjoy tasty treats, make sure to put Kem CoBa on your list of places to visit in the city. Located in the Mile End neighborhood, these sorbets are made with no preservatives or artificial flavors. The lineups outside of this place is usually full of couples, families, and small groups waiting for a taste of strawberry-lychee sorbet, peanut butter and honey, dark chocolate and matcha flavors.
Rent a chalet for the weekend
Whether you book through www.AirBnB.com or a site like www.chaletsauquebec.com there are a number of cozy chalets and cottages around the city that you can rent for a weekend and have your own little get-away without breaking the bank. With your partner, a small group of friends, or all on your own, having a quiet weekend at the cottage is the perfect way to de-stress and not be too far from home.
If you’re a history buff and like to see things in person, Chateau Ramezay is Montreal’s portal to the past. Built in the 18th century, it was the first building to be classified as a history site in the city. There are several exhibits, multimedia portrayals of historical figures and a French colonial style garden to see.
Take a yoga class
If you’ve never tried yoga, now is the time. Yoga is great for disconnecting from your usual stressors and it’s a great way to take care of your body. There are a countless number of yoga studios around the city, some even offer free classes to get you started. Check out some of the best ones here and get yourself signed up!
If you are an animal lover but don’t have one at home, the newest trend in cat cafés has come to Montreal. With several cat cafés in the city you are sure to find one not too far from you with plenty of furry friends to pet and enjoy a warm drink with.
Written by: Mayte Parada, PhD Montreal Therapy Centre