Our Blog

By Lauren Thomas, MA, LPC

Self-care is any opportunity we give ourselves to unplug from our work/responsibilities and plug into the things that renew our energy and bring us joy. Self-care is not selfish! We humans have limited capacity. That means we have a finite amount of mental, emotional, and physical resources to invest every day. While these reserves vary from person to person, one thing is true for all of us: If we do not put healthy boundaries
around our time and resources, we will become exhausted and burnt out. We sometimes resist setting boundaries, thinking we can handle “one more thing” to our already full schedules. Perhaps we compare ourselves to others who appear to do it all flawlessly (which, by the way, is an illusion). Some of us are people-pleasers, fearing we will let others down if we don’t say yes to all requests for our time.

Yet when we “max out” our schedules and become exhausted, this can lead to increased anxiety and depression, irritability, and lack of concentration. The good news is, there are so many ways to take care of ourselves *before* we get to a burnout state! If we adopt healthy self-care rhythms (daily, weekly, monthly) as we are able, we will feel more rested, less stressed, and have more energy to do the things we value.
There is no right or wrong way to practice self-care. The important thing is allowing ourselves the time and space to connect to our thoughts, feelings, body, and soul. Activities include prayer, journaling, exercise, spending time in nature, sleep, reading, or talking to a friend (to name a few!). We may need different things in different seasons of our lives.

I want to share with you some of my favorite places to rest and recharge in my hometown, Pinehurst, NC, and surrounding areas. Here’s my Top Ten List:

Enjoy Natural Beauty

The Sandhills region is known for its longleaf pines and quaint villages full of history, including a wonderful parks and recreation system. Pinehurst, and neighboring Southern Pines, have many options to choose from, whether you want to meander down trails, ride horses, share a picnic, enjoy wildlife, or simply sit and enjoy the seasonal gardens.

Rassie Wicker Park

This park contains a beautiful Arboretum, paved walking trails, and a huge lawn for picnics.

Reservoir Park

With hiking and biking trails, plus a huge 95-acre lake, there is something for everyone. Bring your kayak or paddle board and spend some time on the water!

Sandhills Horticultural Gardens

If you love gardening, you will enjoy taking in this lovely collection of manicured landscapes (including a Japanese garden, English garden, and rose garden, for starters). For those who want to stroll through the forest and bird watch, there is the The Desmond Native Wetland Trail Garden with a boardwalk for exploring nature.

Support the Arts

Music, theater, or visual arts can be other options for engaging in self-care. From art collections to dance recitals, concerts, musical theater, and poetry readings, Pinehurst and Southern Pines have plenty of venues that celebrate creativity.

Campbell House

The Arts Council of Moore County is in a beautiful historic home in Southern Pines. Here you will find art galleries on the first floor. There is also a picnic area with playground to enjoy outside.

Weymouth Center for the Arts & Humanities

Another historic home, right across the street from the Campbell House, was home to author James Boyd over 100 years ago. Today, there is a writers-in-residence program for those who want a quiet retreat to record their thoughts. Weymouth also hosts concerts, various readings and lectures, and book clubs. Outdoors, there are gorgeous gardens, a huge field for picnicking, and a series of walking and horseback riding trails.


Located at Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, the Bradshaw Performing Arts Center contains art galleries and hosts a myriad of events, including concerts, plays, and a speaker series.

Sunrise Theater

This historic theater in Southern Pines not only features classic and current movies, but also live theater, recitals, and concerts.

Coffee & Conversation

Downtown Pinehurst and Southern Pines are known for their array of shops: boutique clothing, bookstores, locally-made products – you name it, they’ve got it. You could spend all day browsing if you enjoy that, or you could rest in one of their coffee shops and journal or meet a friend if you prefer.

Agora Bakery & Café

This beautiful space in downtown Pinehurst offers breakfast and lunch with a variety of coffee, tea, and juices.

Swank Coffee Shoppe

Located in downtown Southern Pines, Swank offers a variety of custom coffee and tea drinks, plus smoothies and other fan favorites like frozen hot chocolate. In addition to food items, local artists’ products are available for purchase.

Pine Scone Cafe (Pinehurst & Southern Pines)

A visit to The Pines is not complete without trying these amazing scones! Pair them with a tea or coffee and settle in with a book for a while.

Start Therapy in Pinehurst, NC

One of the best ways to care for ourselves is to invest in counseling. Addressing underlying issues such as trauma, anxiety, or addiction can help us thrive instead of barely getting by in life. Our caring team at Lime Tree Counseling offers many specialties to meet your specific needs. Contact us to schedule a free, 15-minute phone consultation today. We offer in-person counseling in Ambler, PA and online counseling in North Carolina, online counseling in Pennsylvania, and online counseling in Colorado.