2016 has been a doozy. From the US election of our nightmares to the death of Leonard Cohen, these past two weeks in November alone have been exhausting. With students' exams around the corner and the year coming to a close, I think everyone's in need of a little TLC about now.

If you're needing to burn off some steam or just wanting to treat yourself, we've got you covered -- here are some unique ideas to calm the mind, have some fun, and press the 'reset' button for December as we get excited for a fresh start with 2017:

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Climb the walls at The Hive // 520 Industrial Ave

Bouldering is one of the funnest ways to start climbing. With no ropes, harnesses, or partner needed, and a full range of training programs available, The Hive is an awesome and supportive place to take your mind off any stress and concentrate on the task at hand. The 'Introduction to Bouldering' lesson is a two-hour class and gets you going with all the basics, and after that you can try out a number of different terrains.


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Get crafty at 4Cats Art Studio // 3573 Main Street

4Cats knows that arts and crafts time isn't just for kiddies - which is why they offer amazing arts classes for children and adults alike. Adult classes include making a number of adorable Christmas decorations (making mini clay snowmen? yes please!), mug building, wheel-throwing and painting. Put down your cellphone and pick up a brush - it feels good to get your hands dirty!


via @irinastearns

Escape into Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Chinese Garden // 578 Carrall St

An urban oasis bordering Vancouver's Chinatown and Gastown, this garden is the best place to escape when you're in sudden need of some peace and quiet. Surround yourself with trees and flowers and take a moment to find some inner-zen.


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Go on a whimsical high tea date at Neverland Tea Salon // 3066 West Broadway

Feeling like escaping Vancouver pronto? Step into this West Broadway tea salon and feel transported to another whimsical world completely. This tea spot is incredible for so many reasons - its food is unreal, the decor is stunning, and the whole vibe balances an indulgent decadence with silliness and fun. Check out their costume box at the front or arrive in costumes of your own - either way, you'll forget your troubles after you see their amazing treats.


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Laugh as things go downhill // Seymour Mountain 

The best way to de-stress? Have a little fun! Tobogganing at Mt Seymour is one of the best ways to enjoy the snow this winter season. For only $12 a day you can enjoy the designated sledding and tobogganing slopes (bring your own toboggan or purchase a sliding mat for $10!).


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Cleanse your body and mind at Miraj Hammam Spa // 1495 West 6th Avenue

Voted one of the Top 100 Spas in all of North America, Miraj Hamman is a mystical oasis where you can treat yourself to traditional Middle Eastern treatments that will leave both your mind and body feeling refreshed. Offering massage, steaming, and exfoliating services, this spa is the best place to treat yourself after an exhausting week.


via @lostandfoundcafe

Get Lost + Found in a truly cosy Vancouver cafe // 33 W Hastings St

Located in downtown Vancouver on the cusp of Gastown and the downtown east side, Lost + Found Cafe attracts locals and tourists alike. The vast space offers a creative and chilled-out bohemian vibe where you'll truly feel like you've escaped the noisy city. The food is amazing, with nods to exotic flavours from the owners' travels. With travel books on the tables, this cafe is the best place to let your mind wander as you dream of your next adventure.


via @rsvp33

Channel your inner Bey at a RSVP 33 dance class  // various locations

Alright ladies (and everyone!), let's get in formation. Sometimes the best way to de-stress is just to blast some tunes, channel your inner Beyonce, and dance. With six-week long classes ranging from 'Beyonce' to 'Good Girl x Bad Girl' (with tracks from Rihanna, Nicky Minaj, and Missy Elliot and the likes), RSVP 33 provides the perfect, empowering antidote to the November slumps.


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