Save it with sayings like “our fate is already determined." Badna n3eesh! But people are worried, people are scared, people are nervous. Suddenly, going to the grocery store across the road to pick up deodorant and a cookie has become a dreaded endeavor.

Of course, this is all understandable; but, as a personal believer in optimism and the like, stress is a big no-no for me.

So take a deep breath, pull your hair out and try to emotionally, physically and mentally relax. Here is a list of some fun, stress-relieving activities that certainly won’t fix the outer world, but they might make your inner one feel a whole lot better.

Early Morning Jog in Raouche

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As an outcome of living in the Levant, we are surrounded by the most beautiful sea (well-aware of the bias, thank you very much).

Set your alarm two hours before your day begins, and go for a jog with your mother, dog, fiancé – you name it – along the sidewalk of the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Albeit a bit cold, it’s totally worth it – the waves are usually surging at a roaring speed; the cool air is cleansing and lacking of the usual humidity; the emptiness is eerily beautiful.

Clear your head in this one hour jog, and watch how your day changes. And, best of all, we now have friendly bike-riding police on the Corniche so you can feel a little bit safer.

Listening to Oud

This one is a personal favorite – listening to the perfectly rhythmic sound of the beautiful oud. Whether or not you are a lover of all things authentic, the oud, undeniably, has a soothing, almost holistic sound to it.

The next two live performances coming up are Sam Shalabi live at the Beirut Art Center this Wednesday and Oud Night at the Tyre Rest House on Saturday.

If going out is not an option for you, here are two personal tips: Download the “schizophrenic Iraqi oud player”, Khyam Allami’s debut solo Resonance/Dissonance, or take a trip to Antoun’s Music store in Hamra and ask 3’Ammo Antoun, the ultimate staple of Hamra from the 1950’s to date, to play you a song on his valuable oud.

Weekend Road Trip and/or ATVing in the Mountains

Courtesy of global warming, this winter has proven to be short in terms of snowing and the activities that come along with it. Drive toward a calm afternoon in the heart of the lively forest of Broumana with oak trees, waterfalls and picturesque pink, red and white flowers. In addition to the simply breathtaking view of the sea and the clean, fresh air, local restaurant Mounir has, without competition, one of the best Lebanese mezzes you could ever possibly have.

Ready to go off road? Get hooked up with your very own ATVs in Zaarour.

Cooking at Tawlet

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Of course, eating is the number one stress-reliever to most of us but, believe it or not, cooking is an even better remedy. Not sure what it is about foldin’ that dough and fryin’ that sambusek, but that creeping sensation of self-accomplishment that comes with the (burnt, in my case) pastry feels oh-so-good.

Book Lebanese Cuisine 101 for you and a bunch of your friends for the weekend, and enjoy your day cooking eating.

Karaoke Night

Screaming at the top of your lungs, although an action that can possibly cause more harm than good to those near you, feels too damn awesome – particularly if your vocal chords are leaning more towards terrible than anything else.

With our Guide to Karaoke in Beirut, take one night off and go sing the night away.

Go for a Hike

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The beautiful thing about nature is that it is endlessness and surreal in beauty and has a transcendent effect on us. There is nothing more stress-relieving than breathing in nature. Check out two different events happening this weekend: a hike from Kfar Shleimen to Zein on Saturday and a hike in the Lamartine Valley, also on Saturday.

When you reach the summit, meditate with the trees and birds to your heart's content and, well, just think of how peaceful their life is.


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