Sounds of Sea spa by Madison Beach Hotel

Photo by Sara Drought-Nebel

Photo by David Kadamus

Photo by Anne Simpkinson

By Robyn Wolcott

Some days, I want to be testing my agility on a mountain bike or a stand-up paddleboard. Other days, I just need some Zen. If you’re feeling the latter, here’s a day to help you relax, recharge, and clear your head in Madison, CT (or as I’m calling it, Madi-Zen)!

Get your morning started

I have been told that the best time to meditate is first thing in the morning, before your mind starts racing. If you live in town or are staying locally, this should be relatively easy. Just get into some comfy clothes and grab your smartphone, headphones, and select a 10-minute guided meditation on Youtube or a meditation app (I like the app Calm as it offers several free 10-minute guided sessions). Find a comfortable and quiet spot to sit, and let the guidance take over. By starting your day this way, you can set a Zen pathway for the day, as well as learn some tips on how to block out all the noise. I recommend just 10 or 20 minutes because I’m sure you’re hungry!

Speaking of hungry, now that you’ve started your day right, let’s fuel up. If you want something light, try our local Willoughby’s Coffee Shop with bagels, baked goods, and more (open 6:30am each day, 7am on weekends). Looking for something more substantial? Head to Cristy’s of Madison for a pancake the size of a plate; or to Madison Beach Hotel for something delicious with a waterfront view.

Late morning/mid-day

Let’s continue the calm by heading for a nature walk. The Shoreline Greenway Trail is a 2.5 mile walk roundtrip. (Where to enter/park – see the website.) If you want something even longer, you can head into Hammonasset State Park and follow their map of walking trails. Depending on the season, watch for various birdlife along our coastline! The Audubon Shop can likely make some suggestions, tell you what to look for, or you can join them for a hike if the timing is right. (Events on their website.)

Meal time?

Depending on what time it is now, you can head to lunch or check out some of the great ways below to keep your mind clear. If it’s lunch, you have great options in town. Check out the full list of Chamber member restaurants here!

Deeper Relaxation in Madison

  • Scranton Memorial Library in Madison – free Monday Meditations at 12:30pm. Certified meditation and mindfulness teacher Johanne Vanelli leads, speaks on topic related to meditation for about 15 minutes, and then guides attendees through 40-minute meditation. See the schedule here.
  • Several fantastic places in Madison – schedule ahead of course. Try licensed massage therapists Anne-Marie Mulholland of Celtic Healing Arts, Madison Park Nail & Spa, Resilability, or Sounds of the Sea Spa at Madison Beach Hotel.
  • Mercy by the Sea Retreat and Conference Center offers spectacular opportunities to recharge. The most comprehensive are the full-day, weekend, or longer programs that provide a variety of mindfulness and meditation practices. If you’re not ready for that intensity, you can also join them for Mandala making, nature journaling, and full moon labyrinth walks to recharge at Mercy Center.
  • Catch a flick. Check out a first-run independent art film or upscale foreign or domestic film at the vintage-feeling Madison Art Cinema that has been a part of Madison since 1912 but was renovated and reopened under new ownership in 1999.
  • Bend & Stretch. Get out all the kinks at Life Full Yoga or Rise Therapy and Wellness, which offer a variety of morning and evening yoga classes to fit your schedule.

Après Activity

Finally, after this incredibly relaxing day, it’s probably time for more food or a nice beverage. Hit the restaurant list again, or try one of our local spirit shops for a bottle of your favorite drink or a tasting. There are few things that I find more relaxing than a nice glass of red wine, but a tasting may be even better. There is a certain sense of gratification when I take the time to do a tasting and find a new favorite. Check their website links for scheduled tastings.

May your feeling of Madi-zen continue for days to come!