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Photograph: Anastasia Cole Plakias/ Brooklyn Grange

Calming activities to do in NYC this week as election results are announced

Here's where to go while trying to keep your mental health in check.

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Written by
Collier Sutter
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The one-two punch of having an election during a global pandemic, and then having to wait forever for its results, is a lot to handle. We all know stress can greatly affect the mind, so to help you think as clearly as possible this week, we rounded up a list of soothing activities you can do to escape both your apartment and the endless news cycle.

So lace up your shoes and quiet your mind at these zen-like activities across the city. 

1. Be a good neighbor in your own community 

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Picking up litter is a simple, free way to provide instant, hands-on help to your local community, which will distract you from your nerves in a way that also helps others. If you check out many local neighborhoods' mutual aid organizations you'll find clean-up crews making their rounds through parks, bike paths, schools, and community centers most days. For example, today, the Bed-Stuy community arranged a clean up protest to clean up McGolrick Park

2. Use your bike for protest and pleasure 

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A growing wave of New Yorkers have embraced cycling since the pandemic began in March. If you would like to join a protest ride to speak up on justice, keep an eye on Street Riders NYC's Instagram page for announcements on their next ride. In the meantime, to decompress from election results, you can hop on a citi-bike or rent a bike for pleasure. Try clearing your head while riding along the best bike routes in NYC

3. Get out your willies by axe-throwing

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Weaponry usually doesn't help curtail feelings of anxiety, but if you head to one of NYC's several axe-throwing locales, you can hurl sharp, heavy objects to get out some of your frustration. Stop by Brooklyn's new Hatchets and Hops or book a time at Manhattan's first ever axe-throwing bar Live Axe, which is viking-themed.

4. Drop off food at a local community fridge

Election-related stress might have you feeling like you're not doing enough right now to help. Donating fresh produce and perishables to your neighborhood's community fridge is a good place to start this week to feel more useful. It'll help feed hungry bellies and contribute in the fight against food disparity in New York. 

5. Sign up for an outdoor yoga class

Balance your chakras at yoga classes set up outdoors across the city. At Astoria's Yoga Agora for example, you can book an affordable drop-in class to take in Astoria Park. You can also sign up for a yoga spot on Brooklyn Grange's rooftop farm in Sunset Park. If yoga isn't your jam, peruse our list of best outdoor fitness classes for more inspiration on what fits your workout style.

6. Book a pottery or art session ASAP

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Use your hands! Sign up for Artshack Brooklyn a nonprofit ceramics studio located in Bed-Stuy has socially-distanced classes every day of the week from beginner wheel throwing to date nights for two instead of scrolling news platforms for hours after work. 

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