Better, Faster, Stronger in 2023: Our Suggestions for Better Living This Year

From roller skating to bird watching to online therapy, here are our recommendations.

Sponsored Content Presented by BetterHelp

1. Get Your Mind Right

Whether you thought you had your shit together pre-pandemic or not—the last few years likely turned your world upside down in more ways than one.

We went through a lot together. And in that—admittedly horrible common ground—exists a silver lining. A lot of us began to realize that we did not, in fact, have our shit together, and finding ways to cope became the new normal.

Maybe you took up crocheting. Maybe you baked an ungodly amount of sourdough bread. Or maybe you thought about seeing a therapist yourself. And maybe you didn’t end up going through with it.

We get it, finding a therapist is difficult. But BetterHelp makes it easy…like really easy. BetterHelp offers online therapy that is affordable and accessible, and you can be matched to a therapist within 48 hours, because you shouldn’t have to wait on therapy when you need it. Which means there’s no time for you to self-sabotage and procrastinate.

And if that still seems like a lot, you can even do it virtually. Which, for us lazy girlies, is a huge win. The thought of getting up, out of bed?! (criminal), into the car, and driving to an appointment that now can be held virtually? No thank you. Never again.

So, honestly, thank god for BetterHelp. The desire to stay in your slippers aside, finding a therapist—or any new service provider, really—can be kind of awkward. Think of it like dating. With traditional therapy, it’s a lot harder to find a good match. Once you’re finally put into contact with a therapist, you’ve gotta make sure they take your insurance, are accepting new clients, are within your price range, and, most importantly, that they make you feel comfortable.

BetterHelp, on the other hand, has the largest database of licensed therapists—that’s over 25,000 therapists to choose from based on your needs, preferences, and location. And if you don’t click with your first one, you can just switch. Plus, think of the gas money you’ll save from taking your call from the privacy of your bedroom.

2. Get Moving

Annoyingly, taking care of your body actually does work wonders for your mental health. And if the gym isn’t really your thing, Portland has a lot of other unique places to do so. For an uplifting workout, head over to PulsePDX. The dance studio is a judgment-free zone; perfect for everyone, regardless of your fitness level. If doing Zumba with a group of strangers is not quite your thing, however, the famed Barry’s Bootcamp is now in Rose City. The studio offers more traditional group fitness classes, plus amenities like an on-site shake bar (or should we say, a workout incentive). Looking for a less traditional way to work up a sweat? Check out Skate with Chickpea. Chickpea is a certified skate instructor who teaches beginners, roller dance, slalom classes, and more. She’s also organized a bunch of skate socials in the Portland Metro area. And, if competition is more your thing, sign up for a club sport. Choose from flag football, dodgeball, and more.

3. Learn a New Skill

Challenging your brain to work in new ways—beyond the somewhat apocalyptic habits you may have picked up during the pandemic—will pay off big time. Even just looking at the exterior of Radius Art will give you a serotonin boost. The studio offers ceramics workshops, clay studio memberships, and a handmade shop. If your crafty-ness extends exclusively to doodling, however, how about honing your skills at High Low Art Space? They offer beginner classes, which judging from the photos on their website, could potentially make you really good at drawing…like freakishly good. Or, I mean, you could always take a Portland Audubon class and get really into birds. The options are endless.

4. Volunteer

Volunteering your time and energy is invaluable to these organizations, and you’re guaranteed to get a little mood boost as well. It’s also a great way to get to know, and become fully immersed in, your community. There’s plenty of places in Portland that are always looking for volunteers, but to name a few: Blanchet House, Rose Haven, Cat Adoption Team, and so many more. Check out our 2023 Volunteer Guide if you need some more inspo!