Regardless of whether you’re elated or heartbroken over the results of this week’s presidential vote, one thing’s pretty clear: This election cycle was hard on all of us.

You need a break. A reset. A chance to clear your head and remind yourself what’s really important.

The Alder Springs trail is one of countless hikes you can enjoy for a little head-clearing fresh air.
The Alder Springs trail is one of countless hikes you can enjoy for a little head-clearing fresh air.

Is there any better place on earth to do that than Bend, Oregon?

 

First things first. Get some fresh air.

Ever notice you breathe a little easier when you’re outside? (Er, when it’s not allergy season).

Whether you need a scenic space to let your jubilation soar, or a place to escape the din of news reports and social media, Bend is the perfect spot to find your outdoor sanctuary. Bonus: Temps have been surprisingly warm this fall, and there’s very little snow even at high elevations. That’s a fine excuse for a fall hike.

I rounded up my favorite family-friendly hikes in this blog post, or you can find more ideas on Visit Bend’s hiking page.

Get out there. Breathe deeply. Now on to the next step.

 

Treat yourself to a dose of bliss

A Bend vacation is the perfect time to splurge on a little pampering under any circumstances, but these post-election days make it extra vital to treat your body kindly.

Blogger Tawna and her husband, Craig, enjoy the glorious Couples Massage Workshop at Brasada Ranch.
Blogger Tawna and her husband, Craig, enjoy the glorious Couples Massage Workshop at Brasada Ranch.

Let a year’s worth of stress melt away when you book a massage or facial at one of our Bend day spas. If you’re here for a romantic getaway with your sweetie, consider booking a couples’ massage class at Brasada Ranch so you can continue your practice at home.

If you’re traveling on a budget, Phagan’s Cosmotology School and Premiere Aesthetics Institute both offer discounted services performed by students in training.

 

Honor the men and women who’ve served

Bend has one of the largest Veteran’s Day parades in the entire state, and it’s happening this Friday, November 11, 2016 at 11 a.m. in Downtown Bend. You can get the details here.

The Bend Heroes Memorial Plaza on the Deschutes River in Bend.
The Bend Heroes Memorial Plaza on the Deschutes River in Bend.

If you’d prefer to do your reflection in a more quiet fashion, visit the Bend Heroes Memorial Plaza in Brooks Park. There, you’ll find a collection of bricks engraved with the names of first responders, veterans, and others who’ve served the Bend community. You’ll also find pretty stunning views of the Deschutes River, so sit for a while on the bench and reflect.

If all that puts you in a frame of mind to pay your respects to those no longer with us, you’ll find several cemeteries around Central Oregon (including some with historic graves from early homesteaders).

 

Lend a hand

You'll find plenty of "voluntourism" opportunities in Bend (including things like Wanderlust Tours' annual cave cleanup event).
You’ll find plenty of “voluntourism” opportunities in Bend (including things like Wanderlust Tours’ annual cave cleanup event).

Whether you need the lift of helping others to soothe your own aching heart, or you have some extra joy to share right now, consider volunteering when you’re in Bend. You’ll find several “voluntourism” efforts rounded up in this blog post, ranging from cave cleanup efforts led by Wanderlust Tours to an annual river cleanup led by the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council.

There are also plenty of small ways to give back, including little efforts like picking up trash while you hike or paying with cash instead of cards so small business owners don’t get hit with fees. Check out our Visit Like a Local page for more ideas.

 

Now go grab some comfort food

The ultimate comfort food: mac & cheese made with beer and topped with bacon at Crux Fermentation Project.
The ultimate comfort food: mac & cheese made with beer and topped with bacon at Crux Fermentation Project.

The last twelve months have left all our bellies in knots at one time or another, so now’s a good time to treat your tummy to something soothing.

As you cruise around Bend’s culinary scene, you’ll find gluten-free eats and cuisine for vegetarian and vegan palates if that’s what your body needs. You can also seek out specific comfort foods like Bend’s best burgers or tasty bacon dishes or yummy eggs benedict.

And don’t forget to check out this blog post on some of my personal favorite comfort food dishes in Bend.

 

Be nice. You’re in Bend.

There’s a reason you see that little phrase on so many bumper stickers around town. There’s a kindness here that permeates the air, even in the midst of the most divisive election cycle of my lifetime.

Yes. This.
Yes. This.

Folks may be tearing each other apart in vitriolic Facebook posts, but on the streets of Bend, people still smile at each other. They hold doors open for one another and they occasionally sit at stop signs for much too long doing that overpolite back-and-forth dance of, “After you!” and “No, I insist—after you!”

Whether your chosen candidate won or lost, there’s been a lot of mud flung from all sides of the political spectrum. Now’s the time to wash our hands, scrape off the muck, and move forward with kindness.

Be nice to each other, guys. Especially when you’re in Bend.

2 responses to “6 ways to do some post-election self-care in Bend, Oregon”

  1. Thanks so much for the reminders. I live in Iowa City, IA and love Bend! I’ll be there next summer for awhile for exactly for all the things you listed. Iowa City is much like Bend in spirit. Only we are without the mountains, tho we do have a river.

    Cheryl

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