6 Restorative Ways to Celebrate
the Season in and around Austin

Could you use some downtime to get out of your head and relax? Or, maybe you’re celebrating the season solo? Either way, these ideas are sure to restore and rejuvenate.

1. Trail of Lights

This year’s well-known Trail of Lights is drive-thru. Pump your favorite holiday tunes and go cruising.

2. Immerse Yourself in the Color of Fall Foliage

While medical science still can’t prove it, different colors can relieve anxiety and boost your mood. The concept of color therapy (also known as chromotherapy) has been around since the ancient Greeks and Egyptians. Several parks in the hill country have amazing fall foliage. In fact, McKinney Falls near the airport is one of them!

3. Wander a Small Texas Town

A 2020 study found that even exploring your own town can boost your mental health. Take it one step further. Head to Johnson City to walk around the PEC Holiday Lights and the courthouse, which ends up looking like a giant wedding cake! Fredericksburg celebrates its German heritage for the season with a 26-foot tall German Christmas pyramid and Christmas Village.

4. Volunteer

We know that helping others boosts our mood. Despite the pandemic there are opportunities: Meals on Wheels, Operation Blue Santa, Central Texas Food Bank, even this Facebook group to grocery shop for someone who can’t.

Photo credit: Sweet Berry Farm

5. Find a Labyrinth or Maze

Walking a labyrinth triggers what’s called the relaxation response, which slows breathing, your heart rate and lowers blood pressure. In other words, it reduces stress! There are a total of 21 labyrinths here in Austin. Or, if you’re in the mood for something fun, check out the mazes on Sweet Berry Farm in Marble Falls. Mazes are different than labyrinths and promote cognitive health. Be sure to check out their websites before you go. To support safety and social distancing, many places have set up a reservation system.

Photo credit: Anne Marie Bloodgood (pre-2020)

6. Virtual Performances

Watch a wide variety of local entertainment from the comfort of your own home! Choose from local multicultural events including theatre, visual art and music events. Check out a comprehensive listing of local musicians streaming weekly performances. Ballet Austin is taking its annual production of The Nutcracker virtual. The Mexican American Cultural Center hosts Desde la Sala Virtual Concert Series every other Saturday for free. Listen to Austin’s Grammy-winning Conspirare’s Artistic Director Craig Hella Johnson perform a concert from his living room. Or, go big and watch free live concerts from top artists like Khalid.

Need someone to talk to? Call us at 512-472-4357.
Free 24/7 Emotional Support Helpline