This story was underwritten by #ThisIsTucson for CPES Novelles, a local and national leader in person-centered, trauma informed care. Thank you for supporting the local organizations that support us!

Maybe you're snapping at people more easily than usual. Maybe you're constantly tired. Or maybe you feel like you're gonna seriously lose it if one more thing goes wrong. 

Well, maybe it's time for a reset, AKA, a mental health day.

That means taking a day off to focus on stress relief and preventing burnout. Or maybe to address things that are causing you anxiety like past due bills or neglecting yourself. Maybe you just need a day to relax, get caught up on rest or to have some fun. 

If you need something more, like someone to talk to aside from your BFF or your family, use your day to find a therapist or schedule an appointment. 

P.S. These ideas are not just for those who work outside of the home. We ALL need to take care of ourselves, regardless of job status. 

Get moving

Exercise is not only good for the body. It's good for our brains and mental health. It puts us in a better mood, gives us more energy and is a great stress reliever. Not only that, it increases levels of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which improves neurotransmitter levels that help us feel more mentally healthy.


Practicing yoga forces you to be mindful and to only focus on the present moment. It allows you to get out of your head and away from your troubles for a bit. Plus, it feels great.

YogaOasis has three locations in Tucson and offers a variety of classes from fast paced to slow, more meditative. Classes start at $5. Go here for info. 

Tucson Yoga, located on Fourth Ave., also offers a bunch of different classes. There's something for everyone. Classes start at $4. Go here for info.   

Walk, ride, skate

Two sections of the 131-mile path around Tucson were completed this month. Improvements and more path extensions are planned. The Loop extends through unincorporated Pima County, Marana, Oro Valley, Tucson and South Tucson.

Get outside and soak up some Vitamin D while you walk, bike or skate on the  Loop. You'll double the mental boost since you'll be outside.

The Loop is a system of paved shared use paths that connect the Rillito, Santa Cruz and Pantano River Parks with the Julian Wash and Harrison Road Greenways. You can access it easily all over town. We especially like the segment along the Rillito River between Craycroft and First Ave. Go here for a map and details. 

Fun fitness classes

The Pima County Public Library hosts a variety of health and wellness classes for free. It has Tai Chi, Afro-Brazilian dance, yoga, meditation, hula and more. Go here for a schedule. While you're there find a good book to get lost in. 

Hang out with animals

Sweet baby goat

If you love animals, but don't have a bunch running around your house, go snuggle some at a local petting zoo or animal shelter. 

Tucson Petting Zoo and Funny Foot Farm, 2405 W. Wetmore Road, has started a new thing where you can spend as much time as you want with the goats. And, they often have little ones running around. So, go cuddle with goats! It's $8 which includes feeding the domestic animals and the emus and you can spend all day with the goats, pigs, chickens, etc. if you want to. Go here for details. 

The Humane Society of Southern Arizona has volunteer dog walker opportunities. This will take a little planning to get started, since you have to attend an orientation and a couple training classes, but once you do, you'll have the flexibility to walk dogs every day during specific hours if you want to. You'll be doing some good AND spending time with adorable dogs. Both good for the spirit. Go here for info. 

Work in a garden

The Tucson Village Farm holds its Fifth Annual Harvest Festival 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday.

It has been said that working in a garden has several benefits, one of which is psychological well being

If you don't have a garden, no worries. You can volunteer at a local farm or go to classes at a local nursery. 

Green Things, 3384 E. River Road, is gorgeous and offers several classes like palette gardens, terrariums and mimosas and more. Many classes only cost what you buy in supplies and you get to take your creation home. Go here for info. 

Tucson Village Farm, 4210 N. Campbell Ave., is a working urban farm built by and for the youth in our community. And, you can volunteer there at different times, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. You can learn more about gardening while helping the farm grow the veggies it uses for educational programs. You'll do all kinds of stuff including planting seeds, preparing garden beds, caring for chickens and more. Go here for details. 


Sometimes you need a day to chill. If you don't want to do that at home, we have a couple ideas. 

Sit by the water

There's something about sitting by water that is so calming. We may live in the desert, but there are a few places to go hang out by a lake. 

Agua Caliente Park, 12325 E. Roger Road, is a Tucson gem on the northeast side. There's a lovely pond where you can see fish, turtles and all kinds of birds. Plus, there is grass and benches to sit on. Bring a book or your favorite hobby and enjoy. Go here for info on the park. 

Christopher Columbus Park, 4300 N. Silverbell Road, features two small lakes, one for fishing and boating and one for RC boating. It's a lovely place to relax. Go here for info.

Get pampered

Treat yourself to a massage or a pedicure. Maybe both. 

Gadabout SalonSpas has several Tucson locations where you can go for a little pampering. Go here for more info.  

Chic Boutique and Spa, 25 E. Congress Street, offers massage, manicures, pedicures, a hair salon AND a little boutique where you can get some retail therapy as well. Go here for details. 

Have fun

There's nothing like the excitement of doing something FUN to make you feel good. 

Arizona Zipline Adventure will get your adrenaline going with its zipline eco tour in Oracle. You'll zip over the Sonoran Desert on five ziplines ranging in length from 400-1,500 feet. Go here for details. 

Funtasticks Family Fun Park, 221 E. Wetmore Road, is a great place to go for fun. Play laser tag or drive the race cars. Go here for details. 

Get more help with an assessment by CPES Novelles 

Experiencing difficulties at school, home or work can be frustrating, especially when you don't understand the cause or how to solve the problem.

As a leader in community behavioral health CPES Novelles can provide in-depth information regarding cognitive, behavioral and social-emotional functioning to establish a diagnosis and inform treatment planning. Unlike many clinical providers, CPES psychological assessments are conducted by a mental health professional with a doctorate degree. The CPES Psychological Assessment Center takes public and private insurance and referrals from a wide range of professionals as well as self and family referrals. CPES psychologists can test for things like: ADHD, autism, depression, anxiety disorders, PTSD, eating disorders, addictive and substance disorders and more.

Click here to see the full list and make an appointment today.

Angela Pittenger | This Is Tucson