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Saturday, October 16, 2021 — Houston, TX °

Rest & relaxation: four places to unwind near campus

andrea-gomez-cat-cafe-pottery-illy
Illustrated by Andrea Gomez

By Sarah Bartos     10/5/21 10:26pm

During midterm season, it’s important to prioritize mental and physical wellbeing while ensuring all your papers are cited and your benzene rings are perfectly drawn. Here are the Thresher’s suggestions for places or options to relax and unwind off-campus. 

The “cult of busyness” is a mindset that tends to take over during the semester, especially during midterms and finals season. However, it’s imperative to take time to relax, be mindful of the present and check in with yourself. Hopefully, these few places and things to do will give you time to practice relaxation and self-care. 

Work out your stress with yoga



One activity that is the epitome of holistic wellness and health is yoga. This activity has caught the attention of doctors, psychologists and others in the wellness community for helping alleviate symptoms of psychological stress. If you are interested in yoga, there are several yoga studios around campus. Black Swan Yoga is a non-profit hot yoga studio with locations in the Heights, West University and Midtown, offering a range of yoga classes for beginners and experienced yogis alike. They also offer online classes. For those uneager to commit, the studio offers a limited free trial. DEFINE body & mind is another option for yoga classes. What DEFINE does differently than traditional studios is they offer a hammock yoga class. This studio is located in River Oaks and offers in-studio memberships at a monthly cost and online classes. 

Create at a local pottery studio

Take a break from drawing organic chemistry structures, and create something for yourself. I am a terrible artist, but I’ve found that mindfully drawing, writing, curating Spotify playlists, just being creative, in general, is a great way to de-stress.  Pottery is a unique artistic option, and Purple Glaze Pottery in Rice Village is a great place to paint various ceramic pieces. You can choose from over 200 pieces of pottery to paint and have an unlimited supply of paint and art tools. Once you are done with your masterpiece, it takes around five days to fire and glaze. 

Take a spa day

The prototypical at-home self-care day is a face mask with freshly cut cucumbers over your eyes (that will eventually be removed to enjoy your “New Girl” or “Grey’s Anatomy” marathon). But what if you don’t want a DIY version?  Face Haus, a “facial bar,”  takes self-care to the next level, offering a wide variety of comprehensive facials and other skin care treatments for all of your skin care needs. Face Haus’s prime location next to Rice Village’s Starbucks provides customers wiht the opportunity to grab a coffee on your way out. Similarly, Thai Healing Massage Center offers top-notch massages in West University Place. Their various spa services and massages are priced by time and treatment. 

Curl up with coffee and a cat

What is the antithesis of a stressful environment? Anywhere with kittens. El Gato Coffeehouse is Houston’s first and only cat cafe. They offer a wide variety of coffee and tea beverages and have cats and kittens for patrons to interact with. Due to COVID regulations, you do have to book a group session in advance. 



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