Whether you characterize yourself as an introvert or as an extrovert, we all need a bit of down time during a business trip. It may be that your mind is drained after a few days of meetings or social events. Maybe the presentation for which you spent weeks or months preparing has left you emotionally spent. All you know is that you need to do something to unwind.
Tucking in to your hotel room to stream music or shows is one thing you can do. It’s great for those times when you want to shut down completely and unwind by yourself. But for those times when you want to unwind or recharge your batteries without cutting yourself off completely from the world, we have some neat ideas for you at the Civic Hotel.
A Glass of Wine
A glass of wine in Dominion Bar + Kitchen can buy you some time and space for unwinding. It’s a wonderful way to sit by yourself, yet still within the company of others, and have a quiet think over the events of your day. When consumed in small amounts, wine has a calming effect on the nervous system, leaving us feeling more relaxed without affecting our ability to get the sleep we need.
If you’re still having trouble slowing the busywork going on in your prefrontal cortex, then try to really savour a special vintage, or a grape you’ve never tasted before. By focusing on the scents and feel of the wine in your mouth, you can switch the areas of your brain that are being stimulated. The nerve responsible for smell activates the parts of your brain associated with strong emotions and memories and learning.
TIP: Try closing your eyes to really concentrate on the scents and flavours being released in the glass.
Hit the Civic’s Fitness Centre
Working out at the end an intense day of business is a tried and true method for unwinding. The research behind this option is both voluminous and unequivocal about the benefits. And many of the benefits occur on the level of the naturally occurring chemicals that are stimulated when we hit the treadmill or sit down at the rowing machine.
For example, one of the outcomes is the release of a protein that has a reparative and protective effect on your brain. Exercise releases endorphins and hormones like serotonin, which create an effect of happiness. It also allows the brain to rest simply by switching our focus to our movement or, as the saying goes, helps us “get out of our heads.”
TIP: Make sure you do some stretching, as this will help relax the muscles following the exertion of your workout.
Talk a Walk in the Park
Why not exchange the indoors for the great outdoors by putting on some shoes and heading for the nearest park? Research tells us that the mere sight of nature allows the brain to rest and recover from the strain of “directed attention.” Walking in natural settings also reduces blood pressure and the body’s production of the “stress hormone” cortisol, among many other helpful physiological effects.
Beautiful Holland Park, just a 5-minute walk from Civic Hotel, is a 10-hectare (25 acre) modern park offering attractive walking paths, a contemporary fountain and seasonal horticultural displays. If you’re in the mood for nature that’s a bit more on the wild side, a 20-minute walk will get you to Green Timbers Urban Forest, which offers 10 kms of forest trails and a stocked fishing pond with picnic area.
TIP: If you find yourself short on outdoor gear, everything you need to stay warm and dry is available at Central City Shopping Centre, located minutes from Civic Hotel.
Wander Surrey’s Public Art Scene
Heading off to look at some public art is a great way to switch it up, for a tired brain. Research about the neurological effects of looking at art has shown that it activates the regions of the brain associated with emotions, inner thoughts, and learning. Other studies show that it reduces stress and enhances people’s sense of connectedness when they view art in public.
The City of Surrey offers a self-guided walk that combines the benefits of seeing art and spending time outdoors. The route winds past public art installations in parks and civic buildings, along pathways and on the pillars supporting the elevated rail line known locally as Skytrain. A downloadable map provides directions and details about the installations.
TIP: If you’re excited by the art along the route, you can find even more at public and private galleries throughout Surrey.
People-watching in the Lobby
If working out, heading outdoors or a glass of wine don’t appeal, then take a seat in our two-story “glass box” grand lobby and indulge in that most classic of travel past times, people-watching. Civic Hotel’s lobby was created to connect the flow of people to and from the adjoining residential tower, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s on-site campus and the hotel. The interplay between traffic streams was specifically designed to create a high-energy, dynamic human landscape.
The aesthetics of the lobby were designed to be visually stunning, with high ceilings, art installations and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Civic Plaza. Watching the interplay between people and this environment will provide an enjoyable diversion guaranteed to stimulate pleasure even in the most tired of minds.
TIP: Settle in and make yourself comfortable, while you’re taking in the views, with a specialty coffee from Prado Café.