5 Ways to Erase Back to School Stress

Local options for easing educational anxieties.

Parents, kids, college students — as everyone heads back to school, stress levels can run high. Sharpen your pencils and take note of these local options for cutting back on stress.

Breathe In, Breathe Out

via Providence Zen Center’s Facebook

Even if you have only twenty minutes free, meditation can be a great way to relieve stress. Emptying your mind can end stress, but it’s not as easy as it seems. If you’re new to meditation, consider visiting the Providence Zen Center. It offers free weekly meditation classes as well as long term retreats and overnight guest stays. There are discounted overnight stays for college students if they’re interested in seeing what a meditative lifestyle has to offer. Once you understand the basics of meditation, you can practice it anywhere that offers a tranquil environment.

Get Into Nature

via Ell Pond’s Facebook

Whether you’re trapped in a classroom or an office, being stuck indoors only bolsters stress. There’s nothing quite as restorative as a couple hours wandering the great outdoors — Thoreau even labeled it “the tonic of wildness.” Rhode Island is full of great places to hike, but the Ell Pond Reserve in Hopkinton is one of the most scenic, with waterfront views, thick forests and dramatic tumbled boulders. The film Moonrise Kingdom even capitalized on the area’s beauty by shooting several scenes there. A word of caution though: the trails are strenuous and may require hikers to clamber over boulders or down steep embankments.

Details: 173 Canonchet Rd., Hope Valley.
Details: 99 Pound Rd., Cumberland, 401-658-1464, providencezen.org.

Take a Spa Day

via Bodhi Spa’s Facebook

via Bodhi Spa's Facebook

Google “spa day” and you’ll get dozens of images of women with cucumber-covered eyes and pale green face masks: It’s the quintessential image of relaxation. But some spas offer a lot more than just cukes and cream. The Bodhi Spa has a unique take on hydrotherapy with its “Water Journey.” Visitors steam in hot pools or saunas and then take a dunk in a frigid fifty-five degree pool. Although the cold might be intimidating, it deeply relaxes muscles and provides a soothing way to de-stress.

Details: 654 Thames St., Newport, 401-619-4916, thebodhispa.com.

Stretch It Out

via Raffa Yoga’s Facebook

Combining elements of mindfulness and traditional exercise, yoga is a great way to eliminate daily stress. Deep breathing, gentle movement and maintained focus are all important parts of yoga, and they can help the body and mind relax. Raffa Yoga offers one of the most comprehensive yoga programs in the state. Try aerial yoga, vinayasa flow yoga, power yoga and more. College students who feel strung out can even get a student discount.

Details: 19 Sharpe Dr., Cranston, 401-463-3335, raffayoga.com.

Have a Pint

via Trinity Brewhouse’s Facebook

We’re not advocating for drowning your sorrows in booze, but having a glass or two of beer with your friends can be a great way to unwind. If you’re a beer aficionado, Trinity Brew House has a sizable selection of brewed-in-house beers and a laid-back atmosphere (you’re trying to decompress after all). If a pint of beer doesn’t tickle your taste buds, or you’re underage (I’m looking at you high schoolers), try a pint of ice cream instead. The Three Sister’s offers homemade ice cream in a variety of delicious flavors that will melt your stress away.

Details: Trinity Brewhouse, 186 Fountain St., Providence, 401-453-2337, trinitybrewhouse.com; Three Sisters, 1074 Hope St., Providence, 401-273-7230, threesistersri.com.