At Acquiesce, one word of advice we frequently give is to be kind to yourself and take time to relax. This is because relaxation is an essential recovery skill for a number of reasons. To begin with, stress is one of the biggest relapse triggers and people often use substances such as alcohol and drugs as a way to cope with stress. By taking time to relax and de-stress, you will be less likely to relapse.
That’s why in this guide, we’ll be looking at some of the most relaxing places to visit in Manchester.
1. St John’s Gardens
For those living and working in the centre of Manchester, St John’s Gardens is a little piece of tranquility right there in the city compared to the buzz of its neighbour, Spinningfields. Although the park is on the smaller side, there are plenty of grassy areas to sit, play and picnics on sunny days or even just to get away from your computer for a few minutes during your lunch break.
Being part of a conservation area means the park is frequently maintained and groomed and also has beautiful flowers that brighten the garden and make the perfect relaxing escape from the crowds and noise in the city.
2. The Wonder Inn, Shudehill
Recently opened as a ‘creative wellbeing centre’, the Wonder Inn hosts a wide variety of events, including morning sober raves and ‘gong baths’, the latest trendy healing technique that ‘washes’ the recipient with a wave of sound, helping to deal with everyday stresses.
“Nowadays the Gong is one of the most powerful idiophone (vibrating) instruments that is used for sound healing. The deep resonant sound vibrations help to stop incessant thinking and allow people to easily reach a state of meditation allowing the mind and body to relax and let go”
Whilst a morning rave may not sound like the most relaxing thing to attend, the Wonder Inn’s sober raves are perfect for those looking to dance, stretch and relax with hundreds of others without any alcohol. This is ideal for anyone looking to reduce the amount they drink or those in recovery from a drug or alcohol addiction.
3. Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden
Fletcher Moss Botanical Garden is a beautiful place to take a breather and appreciate the stunning brightly coloured flowers, impressive plants and tropical palm trees as well as peaceful meadows that offer a great place to wind down and feel more refreshed.
4. The Whitworth’s Cafe in the Trees
Back in 2015, the Whitworth Art gallery was totally transformed with a £15m renovation, with one of their most impressive additions being their in-house cafe. The cafe appears to be suspended in the trees and overlooks Whitworth park, making it a fantastic place to relax with a coffee whilst you admire the stunning view.
5. Urban Retreat Space
The Urban Retreat Space was set up by Rabbi Max KohanZad in an attempt to start a network of Trauma Treatment & Retreat Centres around the UK. Using science/evidence based therapies proven to heal trauma, the team focuses on healing underlying traumas which are the root cause of the homelessness and offer these life changing services to anyone affected by trauma.
Addiction can be a major factor in someone becoming homeless as addictive disorders can disrupt relationships with family and friends and lead to job losses. For people struggling to pay their bills, an addiction can exacerbate the problem and can lead to them losing their home.
The Urban Retreat aims to provide an open door, high end spa retreat style experience for Manchester’s most vulnerable, including regular therapeutic sessions aimed at reducing stress, anxiety, depression and reversing the neurological impact of lifelong trauma.
The team offers regular classes and sessions in yoga, mindfulness, movement, meditation, dance, group singing, deep tissue massage, as well as showering and laundry facilities. They also provide free Herbal teas, vegan hot chocolate and inspiring educational programs in a safe relaxing environment.
Sessions are free to anyone suffering from homelessness or trauma, though donations are welcome.
6. Glade of Light
The Glade of Light memorial is a white marble ‘halo’ bearing the names of the 22 people who lost their lives at the Manchester Arena terror attack in May 2017. The memorial opened on Monday 3rd January and provides a place for those affected by the attack to come and reflect.
The leader of Manchester City Council, Bev Craig, said “We will never forget those whose lives were lost on 22 May 2017. They already had a permanent place in the hearts of Manchester people. Now they have a lasting memorial in the heart of our city.
The Glade of Light is a beautiful tribute to them and somewhere which will also have profound meaning for everyone affected by the attack. We hope the memorial site will be a place of peace and comfort, standing as a reminder that love is stronger than hate.”