What's hidden past Miami's sunny, slice-of-paradise shores is a city full of emotionally strained people. This place has been ranked the fifth-most stressful city in America
. Locals spend their days on the lookout for face-eating zombies and battling terrorizing traffic for hours on end, so what do you expect? Being stressed blows. Here are ten ways to chill the hell out in Miami.
1. Ditch your car and take Metrorail.
Traffic in Miami sucks.
Photo by Jessica Gibbs
Driving the streets of Miami can only be described as Hell on Earth. It's so bad that this town is home to the second-most stressed-out drivers in America
. De-stress from traffic warfare by ditching your car and taking Metrorail whenever possible, especially if you can ride it to work. Sure, public transit in this town has issues, but it's an alternative to pulling your hair out on I-95. Taking a break from the gridlock gives you a chance to sit back, relax, and mentally prepare for the day. You can hop onto Metrorail every day from 5 a.m. to midnight, according to miamidade.gov
. A one-month pass and parking
costs $123.75 (plus tax). Visit miamidade.gov/transit/metrorail.asp or call 305-891-3131.
2. Order a "Snuggle Delivery."
Doggo does a work.
Photo courtesy of Humane Society of Broward County
According to a study from Virginia Commonwealth University, having a dog at work has been proven to reduce stress
. So why not ease your workday anxiety with some cuddles and wet kisses from adoptable puppies and kittens? The Humane Society of Broward County offers Snuggle Deliveries to your office for an hourlong visit with a minimum donation of $500 to the shelter. (If you're outside of Broward County, they'll tack on an additional $100 for extra staff time and mileage.) The amount of joy these four-legged pals bring to your life is priceless, plus we all know your boss can afford the donation. Visit humanebroward.com/snuggles or call 954-989-3977.
3. Book a treatment at the Spa at Mandarin Oriental Miami.
Don't settle for a strip-mall budget massage. You deserve a day of legit pampering. In the words of Parks and Recreation
's Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle, treat yo'self. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Miami, named best spa in Miami by New Times
, is an oasis of relaxation offering topnotch service and a variety of treatments, from Thai massages ($295) to illuminating oxygen facials ($250). It's safe to say we could all use a little R&R at this luxurious Brickell Key spa. 500 Brickell Key Dr., Miami; 305-913-8332; mandarinoriental.com/miami/spa.
4. Do yoga at Green Monkey.
De-stress with yoga.
Photo courtesy of Green Monkey
Sometimes it feels like there isn't a breath deep enough to help you recover from the pressures of life. Though doing yoga outside made New Times
' list as one of the best outdoor activities in Miami
, a special trip to this indoor studio is necessary when finding your Zen. From power yoga to vinyasa flow to sound meditation, the Miami Beach studio offers a variety of refreshing classes for all levels, and some will even make you break out in a serious sweat. But new yogis, don't fret. Green Monkey offers classes for beginners too. The welcoming and accommodating nature of this standout studio is a serious breath of fresh air. Namaste. 1800 Bay Rd., Miami Beach; 305-397-8566; greenmonkey.com.
5. Spend a day at Virginia Key Beach Park.
Ditch South Beach for a stress-free beach experience.
Photo by Jessica Gibbs
Catching rays and relaxing on South Beach seems like a cute idea until you find yourself wasting half the day on the hunt for parking. By the time you finally find a spot, your highly anticipated chill day is ruined, and all you're left with is anger and a sweaty back. For an easier day beachside, head across the Rickenbacker Causeway to Virginia Key Beach Park. At this mile-long beach, you'll find plenty of parking onsite, picnic benches, and, most important, free shade under the tiki umbrellas. New Times
recently dubbed this beach one of the best in town
. 4020 Virginia Beach Dr., Key Biscayne; 305-960-4600. Admission costs $5 per vehicle or $10 per bus weekdays and $8 per vehicle and $20 per bus on weekends.