If you’re in New England like me, you’ve also been experiencing this week’s gloomy rainy weather. The cold nights we’ve been having remind me that summer is over and the transition into autumn has begun. Somehow we’re already only a handful of days away from the first day of fall.
While many of us herald the autumn as our favorite season, others dread these seasonal changes and the influence they have on our mental health. Folks with Seasonal Affective Disorder understand well that the transition from summer to fall to winter can be a huge hit to one’s emotional landscape.
It’s a sensitive time for many, and even if cold weather doesn’t severely agitate your mental health, it can still impact your day-to-day, slow you down, and affect your body. Fall and winter means colder weather, which means it can be tough to get out of bed or go outside, vitamin D becomes a scarcity, and even thinking about exercising in the cold is discouraging.
Through these challenges, it’s easy to lose track of our bodies and physical health, which in turn can directly affect how we’re feeling. If you anticipate struggling, this list might help you. I’ve compiled several resources that encourage physical and emotional wellness, promote accessibility via discounts and sliding scales, and could inspire you to go out on the town in the name of self-enrichment.
1. West Side Wellness
West Side Wellness, located on the west side of Providence, provides the community with bodywork. Bodywork is a catchall phrase for massage, and massages are often used for recovering from injury, chronic pain, reducing stress, healing from muscular spasms, and more. West Side Wellness offers a reduced price Community Clinic on specific Sundays, at a $20-$40 sliding scale for a 30-minute massage session. For the rest of 2018, these Sundays include September 16th, October 21st, November 25th, and December 16th, all from 10am-5pm.
2. Providence Community Acupuncture
The PCA offers acupuncture, a traditional Chinese practice which involves needles being inserted into the skin. Many use acupuncture to treat physical pain (for example: chronic pain, dental pain, back pain) as well as for nausea, anxiety, and more. Acupuncture focuses on stimulating certain parts of the body to promote healing and wellness. The PCA operates on a sliding scale between $15 and $35, and also offers occupational specials every month (September is Teacher’s month, which means teachers can get a session for $10! October is Food Service Worker’s month, which means all food service workers can get a session for $10!).
3. AS220 classes
AS220 is a non-profit community arts organization located in downtown Providence. In addition to hosting music, theater, and dance performances and hosting art workshops, AS220 also provides dance and yoga classes at affordable prices. I’ve gone to a few of their yoga classes and found them to be rejuvenating and perfect for when you want to do something low-impact. For anyone just dropping into a class, the rates go from $5 to $13. You can see the full class list here.
4. JUMP bikes
If you’ve walked around Providence lately, you might have noticed the shiny red bikes parked around the city. These are called JUMP bikes, and they’re part of a city-wide electric bike share. If you don’t have a bike of your own and want to get outside and move, or have to get somewhere quick but don’t want to take an Uber, maybe renting a bike for an hour or two (at approximately $4.20 an hour) would suit you. One JUMP bike costs $2 for the first 30 minutes, and then 7 cents a minute after that. The company also offers reduced pricing if you qualify.
5. Gallery Night Providence
I recently discovered that on the third Thursday of every month, Gallery Night occurs in Providence. On these Thursdays, eighteen art spots participate in a free city-wide art tour. These spots include museums, studios, and galleries such as the Atrium Gallery, Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts, Rhode Island College’s Bannister Gallery, the RISD Museum, and more. Gallery Night is completely free and offers bus tours to help you get to where you want to go. Here is the map of every art spot for the month of October.
6. RISD Museum
In addition to participating in Gallery Night, the RISD Museum is also a great spot to go to on any given day. Youth under 18 is free, as well as students of Brown University, Bryant University, CCRI, RIC, URI, Providence College, RISD, and Roger Williams University. Go to their website for more details.
If none of these suggestions are quite your style, let me remind you that East Providence 10 Cinemas have a $2 movie day on Tuesdays and Thursdays! Sometimes we want to do something comforting like watching a movie but need to leave the house. A movie theater can be the perfect solution to that.
If you’re still searching for things to do, feel free to leave a comment below with what you’re looking for and I can try my best to help. Enjoy the upcoming weeks as we transition into fall!