It happens every year. As the temperatures decrease, the days get shorter and window for outdoor activity gets smaller. If you’re like me, it can get a little depressing. When you walk out of work at 4:30 p.m. and it’s already pitch black? Yeah, it’s a big bummer. But that doesn’t mean you should stop being active and doing the things you love.
The worst thing to do when the days get shorter is to stay home and give in to the seasonal depression. Get outside, see friends, enjoy life, stay active! Mental health is as important as your physical health. I’m writing this as much for myself as for you. We all need reminders like this. Here’s some activities, classes and programs to keep the seasonal blues at bay. These events are free unless otherwise noted.
- Free Community Yoga Class – Saturday, October 21 at 11 a.m. at 90 High Street.
Join Instructors Annie Chapman and Maggie Skinner, a mother-daughter team from Mystic, as they lead community members in an all-ages/abilities yoga class put on through the Ocean Community YMCA. The instruction is followed by a meal, donated by local restaurants. Attendees do not need to pre-register or RSVP, but can simply show up the day of event. Free child care is available. Not only is yoga good for you physical and mental health but being with others and sharing a meal will help with some of the melancholy that creeps in during the fall and winter.
- Wednesday Wellness Series at Westerly Hospital – Wednesdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at 25 Well Street, Nardone Conference Center.
The hospital’s weekly wellness series covers everything from fitness to heart health to healthy eating to mental health. We tend to go online and find all kinds of conflicting data and answers to our health question. These presentations are a great way to get firsthand information and answers from local experts. You can be sure that the info you’ll be getting is accurate. Upcoming presentations will be focused on prescriptions and medications, vascular health, and how to stay healthy and eat right.
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- Tai Chi at Tower Street School Community Center – Tuesdays from 8 to 9:30 a.m. at 93 Tower Street.
Tai Chi is a great way to fight stress, learn how to meditate, promote serenity, and stay active. Rather than many exercise classes where you leave feeling out of breath and sweaty, Tai Chi is a very gentle, graceful form of exercise involving a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing. People of all ages and physical abilities are guaranteed to leave the class feeling invigorated and at peace.
- Setting the Pace for Conservation 5k at the Avondale Farm Preserve – Nov. 12 at 10 am.
Running a 5k is a great way to get outside, push yourself, and meet like minded individuals. Signing up for a race and setting a goal such as a 5k or another distance is also a great way to motivate you to get outside and train in the days and weeks leading up to it. Plus, this race benefits a great cause: the Westerly Land Trust. And the beautiful course takes runners through Avondale Farm Preserve and surrounding scenic roadways. This year, the race is combined with a Harvest Festival featuring local agriculture, sustainable living and fun family activities and food.