5 Things to do to take a break and enjoy life 

In this day and age, one of the biggest struggles we face in our day to day lives, is the inability to disconnect. Our attachment to technology makes it hard not to feel overwhelmed and rushed in every wakened moment, with the constant buzz of notifications, messaging, and work emails arriving at all hours. For many of us, it is becoming increasingly difficult to hit “pause” and just be.

With a never ending list of projects and activities, the urge to react to every single notification on our phones and the feeling of obligation to respond immediately, we can find ourselves feeling stressed out, drained, and overstimulated. In this crazy, fast-paced world, we all need to find time for self care so that we can recharge our batteries and enjoy some of the simple pleasures that life has to offer.

Start practicing self care and enjoy these 5 awesome ideas:

Restaurant O’Noir

How many times have you or your friends reached out for their phones to respond to a message or check social media during your last dinner together? At O’Noir your cellphones won’t be an issue as you get to dine in a complete darkness.

It’s a very interesting and unique experience. It might take you a few moments to adjust, but it’s definitely worth it. Without being able to see, your other senses will automatically become much stronger. You’ll be able to focus on the taste and smell of your meal and enjoy a conversation with your friends, without distraction, not worrying about how you look and if you have spinach stuck in your teeth. It’s a quite liberating experience. Also, a good portion of O’Noir’s profits go to various local associations that support the visually impaired. Every Montrealer should try it at least once!

Cafe Olimpico

Take yourself out for coffee to Cafe Olimpico. It was opened in the 70s in Mile End by an Italian immigrant and to this day, has remained a popular hangout spot for many people from all walks of life. It’s one of those places that has a personality, character and local charm. It’s an institution that helped shape the neighbourhood over the years.

Try coming here with a book and spend some time reading and soaking up the atmosphere. Even if you don’t intend to read during your coffee ritual, don’t use your phone and just enjoy watching the people around and soak it all in. Try their signature cappuccino along with a couple of heavenly cannolis.

N’Style Beauty Lounge

After a long winter treat yourself to a pedicure, manicure and a foot massage. Relax and enjoy the process, it feels great! We don’t know what it is, but freshly done nails make you feel light and happy. Don’t play on your phone. Look around, notice the little things, other people, the sounds of a busy salon. Take a time out to truly relax.

Rock’n’roll Oasis 

Now that the spring is finally here, we can take a break from the treadmill and get outside to go for a run. One of the best things about running any distance is that it’s “you time”. You can exercise, get some fresh air and have some time completely to yourself. You can listen to your favourite tracks, your breath and heartbeat or your thoughts. In this day and age we’re rarely alone and running is one of those things that allows us to disconnect from everything and just be in the moment.

Give it a try. Go for a jog around your neighbourhood. It’s more fun if you have a goal, so maybe look into Rock’n’roll Oasis race in Montreal September 23-24. You can sign up for 5K to start with and join one of the awesome running communities in our city to help to keep you motivated and focused on your goals.

La Grande Bibliotheque

When was the last time you visited a library? For many of us libraries are associated with fond memories of our childhood and sense of safety and security. In libraries everything is organized perfectly and they hold the answers to any question. Their calming atmosphere is almost therapeutic.

Stop by La Grande Bibliotheque next time you feel like reading a book. Spend a few hours just browsing and getting familiar with the space and different sections. Take a break, sit down and read an old magazine.



Written by: Helen Baginsky

helen-baginskyAbout the author: Helen Baginsky from MTL Ideas is in love with Montreal. Having travelled a lot, Helen is convinced that Montrealers are very lucky to live in such a beautiful and vibrant city. In her spare time Helen organizes events, meetups and various activities in and around Montreal.  She is active in the community and has sampled much of what our beautiful city has to offer.  Helen runs a blog to share her experiences with other Montrealers like herself and she is excited to be a regular contributor to the Montreal Therapy Centre blog team.