Winter Fun

10 Tips to Avoid Getting SAD in RI This Winter

New England's chilliest season can be a major downer, here's how to stay up instead

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As Rhode Islanders we are lucky enough to enjoy a full spectrum of seasonal changes. From enviable autumn colors to the picture perfect beachside summers and lush, green springs, we really do have it made when it comes to a comfortable variety of weather.

But then of course, there is winter. Long dark nights and air so cold it'll blacken the tip of your nose if you're not careful. The harsh New England winters are enough to make you want to crawl into bed and hibernate until April, and many in the smallest state will inevitably suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Yup, there is a clinical term for this deep depression that so often comes with winter, so we've compiled a list of ways to combat the SAD.

Read on, and kiss your cold-weather worries away. (Side note: this list has not been endorsed by the medical or scientific community).

1. Stretch and Sweat


One of the best ways to combat New England’s winter treachery is to do some Bikram (hot) yoga, that way, you’ll warm both body and soul. There are many places to choose from all over Rhode Island:

Enjoy a free Bikram Yoga class at Ocean Side Bikram Yoga and donate to the Give Peace Scholarship for those who cannot afford to practice yoga. 560 Mineral Spring Avenue #104, Pawtucket. 743-5405.

All That Matters yoga and Holistic Health Center offers many classes to choose from and has a 30 day $30 explorer pass so that you can find what works for you. 315 Main St. Wakefield. 782-2126.

East Bay Bikram Yoga offers many levels of membership, from drop in classes to year long memberships. 36 Gooding Avenue, Bristol. 217-9010.

2. Dance yourself warm

Another surefire way of staying away from winter blues is to put on your dancing shoes. Providence Tango offers free Tango classes and practice time every Friday. 172 Exchange Street, Pawtucket. 952-3557. Olive’s has Strictly Salsa Tuesday with a $3.00 cover. 108 N Main Street Providence, 751-1200. 

3. Peruse art galleries and brighten up your day


For such a small state, Rhode Island has an abundance of art galleries/museums, but if you have yet to wander into the RISD Museum, winter is the perfect time to do so. While it may be hard to force yourself out of bed to even get there, once you're inside the warm space, amongst a visually stimulating collection of sculpture, paintings, historical fashion pieces, and more, even the most frozen of hearts will melt like ice cream on a summer's day. 224 Benefit Street, Providence. 454-6500.

4. Cafe's are a haven from the frozen hellscape


What's better than snuggling in the coziness of a cafe with your hands wrapped around a steamy mug of hot liquid while a snowy storm rages outside? Not much, that's for sure. Try a perfect latte (pictured above), made at The Shop in Providence's Fox Point neighborhood. 460 Wickenden Street. 684-1140.

5. Proper attire is key


Let's face it, if you don't have a big butt-covering coat, warm gloves and a hat that protects your delicate ears, then there is no way you'll ever want to venture outside. Put that fashionable pea coat away... it's not doing you any favors in -100 degree weather. Head to REI in Cranston for all of your puffy coat needs. 22 Chapel View Blvd, Cranston. 275-5250.

6. Pretend it's still summer with a trip to the beach


On those sunny brisk days, a walk on any one of Rhode Island's beaches is the perfect cure for winter blues. And hey, if you imagine hard enough, you can see ghosts of summer tourists past and it'll feel like summer all over again.

7. Puppies are an instant cure all


Puppies just make everything better. Even just looking at pictures of them can increase serotonin levels. Why not get some first-hand contact? There are a number of shelter and volunteer centers in Rhode Island such as The Animal Rescue League of Southern Rhode Island. 506 Curtis Corner Road, Peace Dale, RI. 783-7606.

The Providence Animal Rescue League is great place to get some puppy love. 34 Elbow Street Providence, RI. 421-1399.

8. Make a del's at home


Del’s soft serve frozen Lemonade is definitely a Rhode Island favorite and having a cup of Del’s is like your own personal piece of summer and a light at the end of the long tunnel of winter months. This slushie/drink comes in many flavors and can be used for many things. You can even make non-alcoholic wine ice cubes to add to any drink. Click here for recipe. You can turn this drink into popsicles for the whole family. Available at grocery stores, Del’s shops and on their website.

9. When in doubt, drink a 'Gansett

Hi neighbor! Drink yourself warm with any one of Narragansett Beer's delicious brews. Have you tried their H.P. Lovecraft Honey Ale yet? It's the perfect thing for scaring away the SAD.

10. If all else fails, remember, at least you're not dealing with this: