Fast Food. Instant Downloads. Amazon Prime. We live in an extremely fast paced world. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed by it all, it's crucial to your mental health to find ways to slow down and give your mind and body a break. Chronic stress is inherently harmful to your well-being; it can lead to physical symptoms including headaches, elevated blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and even heart disease (AKA, nothing good!).

Nashville is known for being home to many-a-bustling Broadway bar; but it also has some hidden gems where you can retreat to recharge your batteries. So, in honor of National Relaxation Day (August 15th) here is a list of ways to look after yourself and unwind in Music City.

1. Float the Harpeth: It’s hard to imagine a more relaxing atmosphere than canoeing or kayaking down the Harpeth River (which is about 30 min outside Nashville) while surrounded by gorgeous trees and the sounds of nature. Pack a picnic lunch and find an entry point--Foggy Bottom and Tip-A-Canoe are two great places for kayak or canoe rentals if you don’t own one. You can generally choose from several different trip lengths, anywhere from 2-6 hours. You can even stop off along the way to skip rocks, soak up the sun, and enjoy the view.

2. Indulge in a Spa Day at Poppy & Monroe: This Germantown gem will be your new favorite oasis. Touting all-natural nail and skincare services, you can spend your entire day getting pampered without worrying about harsh chemicals. They have an incredible selection of nail polish colors and 5-free gel, as well as impressive designs done in-house by their nail artists. In between services, you can sip on a complimentary adult beverage and shop in their front lobby for natural, eco-friendly makeup and jewelry/accessories.

 photo courtesy of poppy & monroe

photo courtesy of poppy & monroe

3. Take a Hike at Percy Warner: Located in Bellevue, this expansive park can be your perfect escape into nature. Bring your pup, a Frisbee, a friend, or a bike and do some de-stressing. Enjoy hiking one of their many trails, and make it up to the clearing at the top of the hill for a jaw-dropping view of the Nashville skyline. Or, just sprawl out on the fresh grass with a book under the shade of an oak tree. It's quite literally a breath of fresh air.

4. Find Zen in a Yoga Class: Yoga is known for being a soothing, low-impact way to challenge your body and mind while improving sleep, lowering blood pressure, and building muscle strength. For something a little out of the ordinary, try Acme’s Rooftop Yoga which is put on by Sanctuary Yoga, an established studio in Green Hills. The hour-long classes are held twice a month on Saturdays at 10am, and the $10 ticket price includes a killer downtown view and a post-yoga mimosa. Namaste!

5. Sip Tea at High Garden: Take being 'one with nature’ to another level by exploring the organic, naturally grown herbal tea at High Garden located in East Nashville. You will feel like you’ve walked into a tranquil forest haven as soon as you walk in the door. The Woodland Tea House and Sipping Apothecary encourages patrons to disconnect from technology and instead enjoy their wide selection of books and games. They even offer classes and events for those interested in learning to be herbalists.

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Take it easy, Nashville.