Despite the fact that the Northern part of America is currently in single digit temperatures, let's think about spring for a second. Reading this article may be therapeutic for y'all out there that are suffering through the brutal cold and slush and sleet (yuck!).
With spring comes rainy days. I'm not referring to days-on-end torrents that flood the yard, back up the swimming pool and overflow drainage ditches, but just your typical spring showers. There are many reasons I like the rain and here are 10 reasons why I'm excited for spring, excited for the rain, and excited to be done with this freezing cold weather.
1. Everybody must deal with it.
Seriously, there's a natural tendency to wish the rain would cease so life can get back to normal, yet there's logic in the realization that everybody is in the same situation of having to deal with the weather. That's not only comforting to me, it also has a calming effect, knowing that my peers are experiencing the "what-do-I-do-now" dilemma. This universality makes me feel closer with others in my community and social sphere.
2. Perfect weather for laundry.
Rainy weather can make the house or apartment cold and damp. Besides the familiar aroma of laundry detergents and fabric softeners and the hum of the washer and dryer as loads of clothes, linens and towels go from dirty to clean, the household chore of doing laundry makes the home environment feel more welcoming. It certainly warms it up, plus there's the satisfaction of all those clean, freshly laundered items.
3. Rain gives a much-needed breather.
Ever feel like you can't seem to catch your breath because you're overcome by chronic stress and too much to do? I know this feeling well, having saddled myself with more than I could handle on many occasions. Now, of course, I know better and have learned to only take on what is reasonable and that I feel I can give full effort. Still, a constant patter of rain serves to remind me to take a break, to stop the whirlwind of activity I am sometimes prone to. After all, all plants and living things need rest to recharge, refresh and revitalize.
4. A rainy day is a perfect time for reflection.
No time for yourself to pause and reflect on life's bounties? Use rain as a welcome sign to do just that. Think about all the good in your life and be grateful for all that you have. This practice has proven especially helpful to me in overcoming periodic bouts of depression, anxiety and panic attacks. So, I know it works. Whether you use the time to meditate, do yoga or simply sit quietly and allow your thoughts to wash over you, this is a productive mental health behavior you can not only cultivate, but thrive doing – even when it's not raining.
5. Watch a movie without feeling guilty.
The wonderful thing about video on demand, DVRs, Netflix, Amazon Prime and other such services is that you have ready access to many genres of movies. If you've missed one in the theaters or have an old favorite you want to see again, or an episode of reality TV, make a bowl of hot popcorn and relax while it rains outside, and you watch the movie of your choice without any guilt whatsoever. Watching movies also allows you to vicariously participate in situations you'd not normally experience, broadening your imagination and scope of capabilities and reinforcing a sense of self-control, mastery and ingenuity.
6. I can talk for as long as I want with a friend.
Surely there's a friend you can call and connect with during the downtime when you're not going to venture out in the rain or you're taking a break from some household, work or other chores, project or activity. If you're like me, there's something encouraging about the steady stream of rain hitting the windows that prompts me to engage in a lengthy phone call with a friend. That's assuming, of course, that the friend I'm calling has or will make the time to converse. Yet, even if the call must be cut short, I've still connected with my friend. We both feel good about the interaction, no matter what the length of the call.
7. There's ample time to devour an intriguing book.
I always have several books and magazines I'm either in the process of reading or intending to get started on. The tough part is finding an hour or so to immerse myself in reading. Either too many other chores or projects lay claim to my time or I can't keep my eyes open long enough at night to make much headway. With hours of drenching downpour outside, however, if I don't have to fight traffic to get to and from work (I don't), I can sit back in my favorite chair and lose myself in my book-du-jour. I generally feel more creative afterward, another plus.
8. With free, fast delivery, I can get what I need through online shopping.
Not that I mind heading out to the grocery store for a last-minute item for meal prep or even weekly shopping for the family. I am one of those shoppers who enjoys shopping for the best deals, going to certain stores for sale items or organic produce or specialty carry-out. If the rain puts a crimp in my grocery-store plans, there's always online shopping. Speedy, free delivery takes all the inconvenience out of the equation. Now, I've freed up my rainy-day time to prioritize self-care and devote to something else I'd rather do.
9. Spend face-to-face time with loved ones and family.
While you're not always going to be home when the rains come, when you are and if everyone's staying put, why not use this propitious time to play board games, whip up a family meal, talk about sports, watch sports, tell jokes, reflect on goals and spell out plans? Give everyone an opportunity to speak their mind, encouraging open and positive conversation. Be sure to acknowledge each person as they speak, looking at them directly, not interrupting. When it's your turn, share some good news, reiterate a point or two that other family members and loved ones made, and be grateful for this family time you spend together.
10. Wonderful opportunity to make weekend, getaway or vacation plans.
When the family asks what the plans are for our next getaway, weekend or vacation trip, instead of feeling overwhelmed and panic-stricken that nothing's been accomplished, a rainy day provides a nice opportunity to take the plunge and begin research, make reservations and line up activities. Even if I only get started on the planning, I'm one step closer to the goal. That makes me feel like I accomplished something worthwhile – and gives me something to look forward to sharing with others.