How I learned to enjoy rainy days as a natural born sun child
All my life I have been drawn to the sun. There’s something about the feeling that I get when I just sit in the sun’s rays, absorbing its warmth and light. It is my absolute favorite feeling in the whole world.
Since moving up North, I’ve definitely noticed that my mood tends to align with the weather. When its dark, rainy, and cold I find myself shrinking away from the world, becoming my own little sad recluse.
I’m a Cancer so naturally I am drawn to water. I always thought of this in relation to the sun. Obviously I jumped straight to beach + pool for my water and sun time. Never did I think about how I could embrace my draw to water without the simultaneous presence of the sun. Living in Florida, it was quite easy to connect the two. Looking back I wish I would have learned a little bit sooner how to get just as much enjoyment out of the intense stormy days as I do the beautiful sunny days. It took a little work, but I was finally able to get there using some of the ideas below.
Change Your Perspective
Quite honestly, I owe it all to perspective.
It’s not what you look at that matters; It’s what you seeHenry David Thoreau
I challenged myself to sit and watch the rain in silence for 10 minutes, and just notice it. No judgement, no delving into distracting thoughts. Just sit and acknowledge the weather for 10 minutes. When you approach this with an open mind, you can come to great perspective change.
Something about thunder, the way that it rumbles the earth. I took the time to imagine the energy behind each rumble, picturing it rippling from the sky down to the Earth and across the ground. Visualizing each ripple helped me to feel more connected to the storm and the Earth around me. Imagining that the universe is trying to say something with each bout of thunder, trying to communicate something to me that I haven’t been able to hear yet. I noticed how the birds continue to chirp even when it’s storming. If they’re not letting this weather distract them, why should we?
Actually Feel The Rain
I’m all about sensory experience. I think it is truly one of the best ways to connect with our environment. Sometimes I like to just feel the rain. Whether that means standing outside on a porch just feeling the mist, or walking in puddles barefoot (in the warmer months). Something about the skin-to-water contact brings me a sense of peace inside. If you’re interested in this but don’t want to get too wet, try just sticking your hand out into the rain and really trying to focus on the sensations across your skin. What does it feel like? And can you describe this without assigning judgement?
What we’re doing here is practicing being mindful. We are quieting our inner world long enough to be fully present in the moment, absorbing our environment for what it is. So it’s no surprise that there’s even a mindfulness trick that uses RAIN as it’s acronym! A lovely person named Michele McDonald coined the term 20+ years ago, but it’s quite simple:
- Recognize what is going on
- Allow the experience to be there, just as it is
- Investigate it with kindness
- Natural awareness, which comes from not identifying with the experience
Let go of that critical inner voice, and break free of the anxiety or weight present in your body. Relax your resistance to the experience, whether it’s resisting wanting to get wet or resisting taking the time to do such an activity, and allow yourself to simply experience it. Investigate what is happening inside using your natural curiosity. What thoughts or feelings are coming up while you sit and watch the rain, or feel the rain drops on your skin? Just allow yourself to be aware of what is happening, without any distraction. Experience it as a whole, and see how your feelings may change.
Brighten Up Inside
If connecting with the elements really isn’t your thing, you can find different ways to avoid those rainy day blues. Create an environment inside that reflects what you wish outside could be.
Turn on a bunch of lights in one room to make it as bright as possible, and close your eyes and pretend you’re basking in sunlight. Bring in some bright, earthy colors into the space, like yellow and green. Bringing a yellow mug and a bright green plant into the room will give the essence of nature’s colors and maybe you can convince yourself to brighten up, too! Put on your favorite sweater and wrap your most comfortable blanket around you. Snack on some bright fruits or veggies to absorb some brightness, as well. Turn on some fun music and give yourself to the beat, allowing yourself to be lifted by the energy into a better head space.
Here’s a fun playlist that I’ve used before.
Sitting inside all day can bring you down. Being sedentary for an entire day is bound to make anyone feel a little down! Bring some movement into your day. Find a workout class online to follow that fits your style. Perhaps you like high intensity workouts over something slower and more controlled, like yoga. Maybe you don’t like to follow along to classes at all, so you could even create your own plan or do whatever happens to feel good. Whatever you decide to do, the point is the same. Get your body moving to wake up your muscles and get the energy flowing. Our body has a constant stream of energy and we have to give it space to flow freely and bring in the positivity so we don’t become stuck in a negative space.
Personally, I find it soothing to turn on some acoustic music and just do a little yoga flow. I keep the music low enough that I can hear the rain in the background because I find that calming. I open the blinds and embrace the day for what it is, allowing my body to move the way it wants. I find that I sometimes feel sluggish on overcast days when it’s not quite raining but definitely not sunny. I used to try to push myself to smash out a sweaty workout on those days like I see all these fitness influencers do, but I had to discover that just wasn’t the right fit for me. Since embracing the movement that actually feels good to me I’ve noticed a significant improvement in my desire to actually move off of the couch on those difficult cloudy days.
Nap / Slow Down
Of course, napping is always an option! I used to beat myself up so much for wanting to nap during the day. I felt like I had to get things done and if I didn’t finish them I couldn’t take the time to rest. All this did was make me resent whatever it was I had to do that day and ultimately resent myself for being too sluggish to get things done. One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned about embracing rainy days is allowing myself to take these days as they come. If I am truly being impacted that much by the weather, maybe there is something else going on. Maybe I need to give my body that day to rest and give myself that time to look inside.
Sleeping during a storm is easily one of the best types of sleep, don’t you agree?! I love the feeling of falling asleep to pounding rain, yet I would fight so hard against this that I would just stress myself out more. I needed to learn that it’s okay to give myself permission to slow down on days when I just can’t keep up with my own plans, and keep loving myself either way. Yes, it feels great to check things off the to-do list, but it also feels great to listen to my body and take it easy when I need to.
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.Wayne Dyer
Ultimately, if you resign yourself to feeling down and depressed when the weather is anything but sunny, then that’s all you’re going to experience. It is you who needs to make the change inside to view it in a different light. Embrace the energy the universe is putting out and accept what comes. Acknowledge your body’s limits and only push as far as you can comfortably. Remember it is okay to slow down! Give yourself the permission. The only person who has the ability to judge you is you. Release some of the pressure and allow your energy levels to flow with the world around you, in the endless cycle of give and take that fills us all with life and love.