For most of us, the past two weeks have been in a word, stressful. If you are anything like me, you wake up in the morning thinking you are in some George Orwell fever dream but no it is real. 

And now, we are expected to deal with Thanksgiving and all the stress that goes along with it. The planning… the forced family time… it can all be a bit much.

Luckily, Houston has a lot of great venues that offer a relaxing environment to find your happy place and let go of some of your pent up stress.  So step back from that ledge my friend and treat yourself to a day of rest and relaxation. 

Rothko Chapel
The non-denominational chapel is one of the most calming places in all Houston. Guests experience the power of silence surrounded by the dark purple Rothko painting that adorn the walls. 

Hermann Park
The sprawling urban park has so much to offer. However, escape the crowded park and the noise of the zoo area and find your zen in the Japanese garden.  Transport yourself to another world among the azaleas, calming waterfalls and cherry trees. 

BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is located a little outside the city but is unlike anything you would escape to see in Houston. The gorgeous Hindu temple was constructed out of 33,000 hand carved Italian marble and Turkish limestone.

Discovery Green
The public park in the middle of downtown offers enough acreage for you to enjoy the outdoors without leaving the city. The grassy lawns, gardens, tree-shaded trails and tranquil pond give options for how you want to relax and enjoy the scenery while forgetting stress. 

James Turrell's Twilight Epiphany Skyspace
This acoustically engineered pyramidal structure can be found right next to the Shepherd School of Music on the Rice University campus. The Twilight Epiphany show is absolutely magical and a show to experience at least once in Houston. 

Bayou Bend Gardens
This 14-acre garden was preserved by philanthropist Ima Hogg (no, not a drag name) and her brothers back in 1925. This garden oasis close to Memorial Park will remind you there is so much beauty in this world. Bring your running shoes and head to the running track nearby and sweat away your stress. 

And if all else fails, grab a cocktail at your favorite bar. Nobody said you couldn’t find peace in a martini glass.