October 24, 2022

4 Fun Things To Do in Tampa to Improve Your Mental Health

Written by Sara Lane

fun things to do in Tampa for your mental health beach palm trees

Looking for a vacation from your typical 9-5? 

Whether you’re a Florida local or you’re looking to travel to the sunshine state, here are some ways that a Florida vacay – hello, Tampa! – can improve your mental health with self-care.

What is Self-Care?

You may be wondering off the bat: what is self-care and why is it important to me?

And that’s a great question! Self-care strategies range from physical activities, relaxation techniques, and even knocking out items on your to-do list.

Self-care tasks support positive mental health by decreasing areas of stress and increasing enjoyable activities.

“Cleaning your room” may not be a particularly enjoyable activity, but it’s conducive to creating calm and decreasing chaos in your space. This in turn allows you to destress

More importantly, it makes way for a more enjoyable activity, such as going to your local farmer’s market, picking pumpkins at a pumpkin patch, or having a night to yourself inside. 

woman sitting on couch legs up relaxing reading self-care

Essential Self-Care Strategies

No matter what you choose, finding your self-care game plan that works for you is an essential part of supporting your mental health

One way to identify your ideal self-care strategies is to create a self-care list that works for you. 

Are You an Introvert? Fun Activities for Solo Recharging

Try some fun activities that pour into your need for solo recharging. Here are some ideas:

  • Tidy your living space
  • Draw a warm bubble bath
  • Encourage yourself with positive affirmations
  • Snuggle in some comfy blankets and pillows
  • Make a blanket fort in the middle of your living room
  • Order a tasty treat – or make from scratch!
  • Allow yourself to breath and relax without judgment
  • Reward yourself with a healthy prize for completing positive goals
  • Call or Facetime a friend
  • List the things you love about yourself
  • Make a playlist of your favorite jams
  • Dress up in a costume to re-enact your favorite movie
  • Let go of social media sites that cause more harm than good

You may find yourself longing for more face to face time with friends, and that’s ok too! If so, check out this next list of self-care items – for when you’ve had your fill of introvert time. 

Are You an Extrovert? This Section is For You! 

  • Plan a movie night with friends
  • Grab a coffee at your local coffee shop with a creative outlet (writing, drawing, listening to music, Pinterest‘ing)
  • Find an open mic night and enjoy the show – or if you’re feeling brave, express some music or poetry of your own!
  • Disconnect from a long commute with an audiobook on the way home
  • Find a devotional book you enjoy 
  • Put on your dancing shoes and take a beginner’s salsa class
  • Join a small group 
  • Spend time making affirmations in front of the mirror
  • Find an intramural sports league near you — go, fight, win!
  • Try a new hobby with friends
  • Join a dating app to meet new people
  • Go on a walk or run around town

man relaxing on bench in the great outdoors enjoying his time away travel is a great item for self-care and mental health

Cracking the code to self-care may be easier than it sounds

First, identify areas of your life that feel disconnected, stressed, or undernourished. These places may be obvious, or you may need some time to consider what is the root cause of your mental health maladies.

Say you’re feeling burnout at work, and you can’t seem to disconnect when you come home. A common trait is to stew on those overwhelming feelings and thoughts, until work is consuming both at home and at the workplace.

Instead, try plunging yourself into a self-care project based on an area you enjoy: recenter your thoughts by jumping into your afternoon volleyball league, or run a relaxing bath while you journal. 

You don’t need to be an expert when it comes to choosing your self-care project.

These activities can be trial and error until you find a project that pours energy back into your tank. If you try something that doesn’t work at first, that’s ok

Give yourself grace, and pick back up where you left off.

woman enjoying the mountains travel is great for self-care and mental health

Explore Your World

“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” ~Thomas Edison

There is more to be discovered that meets the eye – right here in your backyard!

Whether you’re thinking about taking a cross country trip for new sights and sounds, or you’re just hoping for a little R & R on a staycation, letting your imagination thrive with travel is an excellent way to revamp your self-care strategy.

Feeling Gloomy? Get Away to The Sunshine State

The sunshine state is renowned for its ability to cheer up its visitors. Perhaps partially due to the generous amount of vitamin D from the often-present sunshine, you don’t need to look far to find fun in the sun in Florida. 

Not to mention, an estimated 200 million Americans aren’t getting enough serotonin-producing vitamin D in their day to day life. 

If you’re a guest to sun and sand, or if you’re a local looking for ways to explore your own backyard, here are some great things to do in Tampa to improve your mental health.

Swim with a Sea Turtle at The Florida Aquarium

Conservation & education are cornerstones of The Florida Aquarium, as guests get a firsthand look at the underwater world at their fingertips. Here, you can learn about your favorite gilled friends and what we can do to protect their habitat. 

You might even get to swim with a sea turtle or take a cruise through the dolphin habitat of Tampa Bay. 

For a complete list of experiences and exhibits, check them out on their website

family enjoying the thrills of a roller coaster ride Busch Gardens Tampa FL

Find Fun for the Whole Family at Busch Gardens  

From a long list of shows and attractions, to roller coaster thrills, to safaris and animal tours – Busch Gardens has fun for the whole family. Let loose and have fun with your friends and family, or explore a solo trip with all that the park has to offer. 

Plan your trip online, or check out their attractions to see more events on their calendar for 2022.

Rainy Afternoons? Head to The Museum of Science & Industry

Fascinated by science?

This place has all the physics fun in one! From a life size Operation exhibit of the human body, to an excavation lab, to immersive dinosaur explorations, you can both expand your mind and learn something new — all while having fun.

Check out the museum’s current exhibits and book your visit today.

Adventure Island father and son enjoying the lazy river at water park fun things to do in Tampa FL

Adventure Island

A splash-tastic way to kick off any adventure is at an epic water park like Adventure Island. Let your inner mermaid free as you enjoy hours of outdoor fun. Whether you’re an adult or a kid, this place is bound to make smiles.

Find out more on Adventure Island’s website. 

mom and child sitting on a couch having fun in Tampa FL

Making Mental Health A Priority

If you want to take steps to improve your self-care game, trying these simple self-care items may help. When you feel like life is taking too much of a toll than you can tackle, don’t go it alone.

Eddins Counseling Group is here to help you to get back into life as you face obstacles on your journey. Get started today with one of our Houston, Montrose, or Sugar Land therapists.

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