Here are 10 things you can do in and around Springfield this weekend to reduce your stress levels and help take care of your mental health. Check out our mental health resources to learn about ways to take care of yourself:
1. Explore Riverfront Park
Exercise and the outdoors are both great ways to relieve stress and practice self-care. You can do both at Springfield’s Riverfront Park and the connected Connecticut River Walk and Bikeway. Enjoy public green space, flower gardens, and stunning river views as you walk or bike along the path. Or, simply bring a blanket and enjoy a picnic.
2. Up Your Disc Golf Game
Disc golf is another low-stress way to get outside and enjoy the outdoors. You can enjoy this low-impact sport solo or with a few good friends. The Mountainside Disc Golf course at Flynt Park is a newly built course put together by volunteers, and it’s a great play. UMass Amherst also has its own course, Orchard Hill Disc Golf, which is available to the public. And if you want to get really far off the beaten path, The Highlands of Conway is the destination for you.
3. Chill By Some Water
A hammock is a great accessory: it’s like having near-instant access to a nap anywhere you go. Set up your hammock by water this weekend for some refreshing and tranquil mental time away. Porter Lake in nearby Forest Park is a local option. If you grow tired of resting by the water, see this map and explore what the 735-acre park has to offer.
4. Hit Up A Nature Trail
Good hiking trails within Springfield proper are pretty hard to find, but if you can venture outside of town a short ways, there are plenty of solid options. Rice Preserve and the Sunrise Peak Trailwalk in nearby Wilbraham is a great, kid-friendly destination. Across the river, Robinson State Park covers over a thousand acres and is full of great natural landscapes.
5. Check Out A Local Farmer’s Market
All summer, Forest Park hosts a farmer’s market on Tuesdays from 12:30 until 6pm. You might find free samples from some vendors, and there’s always something new to try. Explore some new culinary elements by picking up some produce you’ve never cooked with before. There’s also a downtown farmer’s market, though at this time it’s only taking online orders.
Western Massachusetts is a fantastic birding destination, and things don’t get more peaceful than this beloved pastime. If you’ve never been and it sounds a little boring, give it a try before you dismiss it. In summer, you can spot nesting water birds, migrant shorebirds, and riverine land birds, according to the Allen Bird Club. Allen Bird Club has compiled a list of the best birdwatching spots throughout western Massachusetts. Use the above link to find your preferred destination.
7. Fly A Kite With Friends Or Family
When was the last time you went out and flew a kite? It’s probably been a while. We’ve found that there’s something sort of therapeutic about doing so. Find an open green space like Van Horn Park, and take a friend or family member along. You’ll be in the open air and you can fly the stress away.
8. Play Some Pickleball
We all know that exercise helps relieve stress and clear the mind, but the truth is we all aren’t exactly marathon runners. If you’re looking for a lower intensity way to keep active (for the sake of your physical or mental health), pickleball is a great option. Kind of like a cross between tennis, badminton, and wiffleball, pickleball is a racquet sport that anyone can play well. Springfield has plenty of courts, both public and private.
9. River Tubing Along The Deerfield River
Floating down a gentle river at whatever pace the water takes you is just about the ultimate summer relaxation. Deerfield River Portage is a great option for river tubing near Springfield. They provide the tubes as well as drop-off and pickup. Expect to spend between 2 and 6 hours on the trip. You’ll take in plenty of beauty along the way.
10. Escape To Brimfield State Forest For Fishing And More
If you love to fish, there are plenty of options throughout western Massachusetts. Brimfield State Forest is a short drive away, and it’s a great destination for fishing, swimming, horseback riding, and forest exploration.
It’s important to take good care of your mental health, and the activities above can help you do so. But, if you’re in crisis or the activities above don’t seem to make a difference, help is available. Contact our compassionate staff at Swift River to get the help you need. We’re here for you 24/7, and provide individualized programs that fit your life.