6 Places to Scream it Out—Safely—in Greater Honolulu
Because we need that now.
So, life still feels pretty upended. You know those days, when it feels like uncertainty stretches out into infinity and pandemic losses feel overwhelming.
Perhaps the realization creeps in while you’re checking the news hourly, doom-scrolling through Twitter, or maybe you noticed you rely on the daily COVID-19 case count alert at noon to tell you it’s time to eat lunch? We stumbled upon something that can help. It’s not a cure, but sometimes screaming at the top of your lungs can help get rid of some of that funk. Maybe you want to belt out a yell in the car with the radio up very loud. A friend tells me that the hallway corridor in his now sparsely populated office became a safe-scream zone for blowing off a little steam. If your office hasn’t adopted a scream zone, we want to help. That’s why we brainstormed a few outdoor places for giving your vocal cords a quick cathartic workout. Remember, we live on an island and the idea here is to safely shout out where you won’t transfer your stress to some poor soul nearby who might think you need rescuing. Please don’t scare others!
Along the road where there are fewer people, it means you don’t have to explain to anybody what you’re doing. But even in the parking lot where people go to plane-spot, await arriving flights and dream about future trips, there’s so much noise from the air traffic that you can both vent and be drowned out.
Sand Island State Recreation Area
It’s close to O‘ahu’s dense urban core but still out of the way enough for a good scream, again because of the lack of crowds and the location along the flight path of Honolulu’s international airport. People do fish, bodyboard and stroll the paths, and there’s camping on the weekend, so again please try not to freak people out.
Driving Through the H-3, Wilson or Pali Tunnels
Screaming in tunnels turned into a tradition some time ago, well before the current global pandemic. Other than those screaming, many people drive around with the windows up, music blasting and A/C on, so this option has the advantage of fewer people to alarm and is an efficient use of time since you don’t even need to pull over.
The Scenic Overlook on Pali Highway Right at the Hairpin Heading Toward Kailua
The Nu‘uanu Pali lookout reopened Nov. 4 after being closed for most of 2020 but this overlook can offer a quiet place to shout it out. Some hikers park there and out-of-towners do stop to snap photos but you’re not likely to frighten a crowd and you may find the view and the breeze pretty calming.
Lā‘ie Beach Park on the North Shore
It’s scenic, on a less-traveled part of the North Shore. Also known as Pounders, the remote location and strong winds and waves prompted people to shout out loud even without global upheaval.
The Sandy Beach Area or Hālona Blowhole Lookout
Both of these East Honolulu locations provide stunning ocean views and some degree of privacy, especially if you pull over away from others and shout out into the surf. The lookout usually does include some tourists so give them a heads up if you’re going to let out a blood-curdling scream in their direction.
We acknowledge that this is a quick way to vent that can offer temporary respite, not a substitute for reaching out for help on bigger issues. Anyone feeling stressed should consider dialing up the self-care and/or reaching out to others, including mental health experts, according to Kumi MacDonald, executive director for NAMI-Hawai‘i. Over at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, officials recommend longer-lasting coping strategies. MacDonald admits that she’s felt better after screaming into a pillow on occasion but reminds us the relief is only short term. “It’s like taking a shot of whiskey when you’re stressed,” she explains. “It may make you feel better at the time but it won’t help for the long term.”
If screaming ALWAYS feels like a good idea, we recommend getting more help for excessive stress, anxiety and depression. MacDonald explains that screaming as a primary coping strategy could reinforce negative behavior patterns. Instead, experts suggest talking to someone, taking a dip in the ocean, exercising, singing, spending time with people or a pet, talking on the phone or online, connecting with the community.
Got a favorite place to yell out some stress that we didn’t name? Or a much better suggestion for coping with stress? Let us know in the comments.
For help and resources, go to namihawaii.org