San Francisco can be overwhelming, with tech companies going IPO left, right and center, rising rents and just the sheer competitive nature of work environments here.
Not to mention, the expectation to be thin, fit, rich and woke.
Here are some things that help me feel deeply and instantly relaxed and hopeful about life, despite all the stress and anxiety that San Francisco causes me.
Hope these help you also slow down and relax.
Go to Green Apple Books on Clement street late at night
Green Apple Books on Clement street is an independent bookstore that has been around since 1967. It is utterly charming with its creaky wooden floorboards and stairs and rows upon rows of books, games and art.
I particularly enjoy going here on weekday nights since the store is open till 10:30 pm and there are maybe three other people enjoying the peace and inhaling the smell of new/old books!
There is so much stillness and I feel instantly relaxed and unhurried.
Bathe at the onsen at Kabuki Springs & Spa
Okay. This is a hidden gem.
You pay $30 for 3 hours in a Japanese style onsen or public bathhouse.
I promise — you will not have a single worry in your body once you have taken the time to bathe properly (not the 15 minutes in the shower you usually take before rushing to work — I know you!), soak yourself in a hot tub completely naked, go to the sauna and just lie down for however long you like, go to th steam room and rub some bath salts on you and finally spray some lavender mist before leaving the place. You can do any or all of these things whenever and however often you like.
The best part? There is complete silence in there except for the soft strains of relaxing eastern music (sitar, I think) playing in the background.
There are separate days for men and women (except Tuesdays), so no one is judging you/looking at you even when you are fully naked.
This is such a restful experience for a great price.
Bike inside the Golden Gate park on Sunday mornings
A large portion of the part is shut down to motor vehicles on Sunday morning and it turns into a haven for bikers, skateboarders, rollerbladers and runners. You have these lovely wide roads to yourself and you can take your own sweet time to explore the park, lie down on the meadows and grab a quick hotdog from the stands, before wandering off again on your bike!
Relax in the Presidio park
I love parks and am grateful to live close to two great parks in the city.
I do have a soft spot for the Presidio park.
There is a place called the Inspiration Point with stunning views of the bay and I really enjoy hiking up/biking to this point. From there, I usually walk to the Walt Disney museum and take in the views of the bay while lying on the freshly cut grass. Sigh.
Or, I go to one of the picnics with friends and grab a bite to eat from the food trucks.
Go to the Farmers’ Market on Embarcadero
I usually take the Muni on Saturday mornings to the Farmers’ Market on Embarcadero and instantly feel a sense of community. Sampling the fruits in season is my favorite thing to do here! Buying the freshest of vegetables and fruits makes me feel happy, lucky and nourished :)
Then I go around sampling the honey, lotions and soaps before grabbing a bite to eat at the momos cart. The live music, blue water and the sight of the Bay Bridge really make my day!
Take some time out on Saturday mornings to enjoy the abundant produce of California.