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How To Make The Most Of A Rainy Day

Updated on January 23, 2015
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I suspect that the displeasure most of us feel when faced with a rainy day begins when we are children. After all, most children I know, even those who love their electronic devices, would prefer to play baseball, climb trees, go swimming, or search for bugs instead of staying inside cleaning their rooms, watching TV, or helping mom with other household tasks. Yet, at least for most of us, once in a while we will experience a rainy day. Consequently, it’s useful to know how to make the most of a rainy day.

Have you ever heard the expression “save your money for a rainy day”? Well, if you have managed to accomplish this, shopping—whether online or otherwise—is one way you can spend part of a rainy day. For those prone to cabin fever if they don’t venture out at least once a day, embarking on a shopping excursion may be your best bet. If, however, you cannot stomach the thought of changing out of your pajamas—to say nothing of brushing your hair and trying to look presentable—there is always the option of shopping online. Your shopping desires and needs likely differ from mine, and therefore the best recommendation I can offer is to zero in on the items you most need and want and proceed accordingly.

Deep cleaning is another way to spend a rainy day. Most of us have a closet, shelf, or other place in our home that needs to be organized and cleaned out. While isn’t typically as enjoyable as watching a movie or calling your best friend, it is nonetheless satisfying to tackle tasks which have been lingering on your to do list for many months. One deep cleaning activity which is all too often neglected is cleaning out your refrigerator. You might be surprised at how many outdated condiments and unappetizing (and possibly molding) leftovers you will find if you take the time to thoroughly clean out your fridge. Another benefit of cleaning out your fridge is a more complete knowledge of the food you already own; knowing this can help, among other things, you avoid unnecessary grocery purchases because you realize you already have enough of that item at home.

A rainy day, even one spent alone, can be used to connect with friends and family. You can make a list of people you’ve been meaning to call, text, email, or write a letter to that morning. This will enable you to return to this list throughout the day as other tasks allow. While you may have to leave a phone message or two, you can at least rest assured that you attempted to make connect.

For parents with young children, a rainy day is an excellent time to start an art project or make a fort with the living room furniture. Many young children love to perform, and, as a result, helping them perform a short, simple play may help fill the time and create enduring memories. Children can also put together jigsaw puzzles, color pictures, and help with basic chores. Teaching your children to make the most of a rainy day will likely help them make the most of other unpleasant life circumstances they face.

Unless it is raining too hard or the rain is so cold that going outside for more than a few minutes puts you at risk for hypothermia, stepping outside to experience the weather is a fine option. Putting on a rain jacket, rain boots, and grabbing an umbrella is prudent; however, if you have a clothes dryer in your home and can tolerate going without these items, you can best savor the full refreshing experience of standing outside in the rain. Regardless how long you linger outside, sipping a hot beverage once back inside may overwhelm you with feelings of gratitude.

Speaking of gratitude, a rainy day is an ideal time to count your blessings. You can start with the fact you are inside and protected from the rain. Other things you may have to be thankful for include good health, supportive family and friends, faith in a higher power, people who make you laugh, food to eat, favorite movies, and even childhood memories you continue to cherish.

Relaxing without guilt is another way to spend a rainy day. Rest is necessary for all human beings, and what exactly this means for you—whether you will read a novel, take a nap, sit quietly and enjoy the sound of rain outside, or simply sit at your kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a clear mind—is something you must determine. This may be the time to crack open the novel your sister recommended, or start a new knitting project, or make a loaf of pumpkin bread.

If you must be productive, however, one place to start is cleaning out your email inbox. This task can include creating folders to better organize your emails, deleting emails you don’t need, and responding to emails. Comparable to cleaning out a closet or shelf, this act can be satisfying and worthwhile on many levels. Other productive tasks can include paying bills, cleaning your bathroom, doing laundry, sorting through real mail, and organizing papers.

Yet, if all these suggestions are unappealing because they are too solitary, social options exist. Feel free to call up a friend and suggest you meet for coffee or lunch. Or, if you would rather stay home, invite a friend or several friends over for movie watching, a game night, or to bake cookies. If you are a movie enthusiast, invite over your friends who also love movies to maximize the experience. If you have time, there’s always the option of watching two or three movies in a row. While you can always watch movies in a series—such as any of the Harry Potter or Batman movies—you can also watch completely unrelated movies.

It’s possible your friends won’t be free to come over, and, under these circumstances, you can always brainstorm about future gatherings. One possibility to explore is themed parties. The themes for these are seemingly endless. They can include a party where everyone must buy their outfit from a thrift store to a gathering where you are instructed to dress up like a mythological creature.

Rainy days can also be spent thinking about your current and future goals, dreams, and even those items on your bucket list you need to research. This isn’t the time or the place to establish ten goals to start tomorrow; however, this doesn’t mean you can’t sit down at your desk or kitchen table in order to analyze your budget or write down the two vacation destinations you intend to visit the following summer. Research has shown that committing goals to writing greatly increases your chance of reaching these goals; consequently, a rainy day is the perfect time to start brainstorming about who you want to be and how you plan to get there.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for making the most of a rainy day. You may want to play video games or watch an entire season of “New Girl” instead of following any of these suggestions. Regardless how you decide to spend it, realize that rainy days can be good days if you have the right approach and a positive attitude.

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