Shelby Farms Park in Memphis, Tennessee

Memphis Self-Care Guide: Holiday Edition

Phillip Van Zandt

Samantha Crespo | October, 2019

Life’s all about balance, so let’s talk about how you’re going to BALANCE all of the together-time you’re in for this holiday season. At some point, you’re going to want (er, need) to steal a moment for yourself. Here are 10 ways to do that in Memphis. 

Make something the Memphis way. 

Soothe your mind by working with your hands. Whether it’s a pottery class at Summer Ave. Art & Clay, candle-making at Falling into Place in the Broad Avenue Arts District or any of the wildly creative workshops presented by Five in One Social Club, you can work out—and take home a DIY souvenir.

 

Curl up with a good read in a beloved Memphis bookstore.

Lose yourself in a book at historic, cozy Burke’s Book Store in Midtown’s Cooper-Young neighborhood or at modern novel. bookstore in East Memphis’ Laurelwood Shopping Center. (If you choose Burke’s, note that the House of Mews cat sanctuary is just across the street for additional warm-fuzzies.)

 

Or do the Memphis equivalent: Lose yourself in a record store. 

Memphis record stores are packed with vinyl so you can get lost in the sound. In Midtown, homey Shangri-La stuffs rooms and nooks with new and used vinyl while Goner hooks you up with the latest from Memphis’ punk and garage band scenes. Downtown, Vibe & Dime curates a  nice selection in its hip new space.

 

As long as you’re browsing, pick up some Memphis-made spa goodies. 

The Bubble Bistro across from Crosstown Concourse makes its own natural soaps, body butters and more. Downtown, Buff City Soap sells its small-batch signatures, including seasonal favorites like pumpkin spice latte soap. Stock up and get your soak on.

 

Or just go to the spa.

The Peabody Memphis just debuted a full renovation and expansion of its Feathers Spa. Indulge in Sawai Thai massage or Ashiatsu, a new dry sauna and steam room as well as Tennessee’s only Vichy shower bed, offering steam massage, chromo light therapy and aromatherapy for a multi-sensory hydrotherapy body treatment.

City Silo in Memphis, Tennessee
Edge Alley in Memphis, Tennessee
Mighty Lights in Memphis, Tennessee
Big River Crossing in Memphis, Tennessee
City Silo by Justin Fox Burks; Mighty Lights by Alan Spearman; Big River Crossing and Edge Alley by Craig Thompson
On that note, eat clean. (Yes, you can do that in Memphis.)

With bowls, smoothies and “wellness elixirs” packed with superfoods, East Memphis’ City Silo Table + Pantry creates delicious, feel-good dishes for vegans to omnivores. Or, head to the Raw Girls food truck nearby for raw and seasonal fare plus cold-pressed juices. 
 

If you just need a tea or coffee break, Memphis also has you covered.

Warm beverage-and-chill at one of Memphis’ new-generation coffee shops. Downtown’s Edge Alley offers a lovely selection of loose-leaf teas and chai lattes. Nearby, Comeback Coffee’s light, airy space is a gorgeous spot to sip something warm, while the Cafe at Crosstown Arts crafts coffee drinks and plant-based pastries.

Walking in Memphis is nice, too.

Is there any better therapy than walking without a place to be or a time to be there? With downtown’s Big River Crossing and Mississippi Riverfront, Overton Park’s Old Forest in Midtown, East Memphis’ Shelby Farms Park (plus the 10.5-mile Shelby Farms Greenway) and Millington’s Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park, the Memphis area gives you miles upon miles to walk it out.
 

Go high-energy if that’s your thing. 

Freshen up your perspective at a new indoor climbing gym like Memphis Rox or High Point Climbing & Fitness. Or channel your energy in a different way and throw some axes. For real—check out Civil Axe Throwing in Memphis’ Broad Avenue Arts District.
 

Now down-shift for a Memphis movie experience.

Memphis’ historic Central Station is home to the Malco Powerhouse Cinema. It’s new and, hands-down, the most luxurious movie-viewing experience in Memphis. Reserve your seat, kick back in your recliner and escape to the movies.
 

Meditate to Mighty Lights. 

Memphis’ new nightly light show, a display of shifting colors synchronized between two bridges over the Mississippi River, is spellbinding. Meditate or just let your mind wander as you wind down your day in Memphis.