It’s no secret to anyone who’s known me for much time at all that I have pretty severe depression and anxiety. I’ve had it my entire life, dropping into uncharted lows and bouncing back into periods of being in a complete anxious tizzy. A lot like Eeyore, I feel like a little grey rain cloud of depression follows me around where ever I go, always fogging and clouding my sense of self and purpose and always confusing my inner dialogue. And when it rains for days on end (thanks Georgia) it makes that depression even worse. Like an uneasy sail boat quivering in the middle of a dark summer storm, I feel like I’m always one crashing wave away from my boat tipping over, sending me further into the abyss until I’m swallowed whole and drowning without rescue.
So in order to ‘steady my boat’ and discipline my unruly emotional terrain, I started an experiment of sorts. I’m a firm believer that not all depression can be beat just by changing your habits but I’ll be damned if I don’t at least try. Having healthy habits and mindset can’t fully deliver me from the storm of my mind, but they can certainly help! So I came up with 7 ways to nurture my mind, body and soul that could be done INDOORS and made the never ending rainy days seem a little more bearable. I choose 7 so I would have something for each day of the week. If your sick and tired of the rain, maybe give one of these a try or create your own list of rainy day sanity savers.
1. Have an indoor gardening day. One of the reasons I get so bummed out when it rains is I can’t go work in my garden (which I truly LOVE to do and find so therapeutic). So I turned my enclosed back porch into a gardening station for a few days. I got my kids involved and they planted peppers and flower seeds in eggshells. Once they sprout, we can move them outside. I also had multiple plants that needed to be re-potted so I re-poted those. Tip: pick a room in your house that has tile or some kind of hard flooring so you don’t have to worry about getting dirt on the floor. When your done, you can simply sweep up the mess. Being connected with nature is so nourishing for my soul, so If I can’t be out in it, I can at least bring some of it indoors.
2. Change your vibe with Essential oils. When I’m really feeling ‘over’ the rain, I’ll put some citrus oils in my diffuser so I can breath in some happy smells. I also am one of those weird people that find cleaning therapeutic (at least sometimes) So I’ll use my oils to clean with and it makes the whole house smell fabulous. The power of aroma therapy friends!
3. It’s no doubt that getting your body moving can help fight depression. I usually exercise outside if I can, but when it’s too ugly to be outside I’ll roll out my yoga mat next to a window and practice. I also will take these rainy days as a time to dive into my pranayama (breathing exercises) which also help immensely with depression and anxiety. A more in depth post about this topic coming soon!
4. Practice a little hygge. Hygge is a danish word and concept of enjoying life’s simple pleasures. It would take way too long for me to cover all that it means in this one post, but I do highly recommend reading a book about it (I loved this one). One of the famous things that you can do to increase the coziness factor of your life (according to the danish) is light candles and use warm light in your home. There’s no doubt that lighting changes how we feel, whether consciously or subconsciously. This is the reason interior stylists are very careful about what kind of lighting we choose for our clients. Light effects our moods one way or the other. Warm light, like the glow from a candle or a darling set of string lights, can help us feel more relaxed and more at ease. I am unashamedly a huge fan of string lights no matter how teenage or hipster they may be. It’s become one of the simple things that I get a little excited about each time it rains I’ll think to myself “Oh I get to turn on all my string lights today!” So use some candles or warm lighting to make your space feel a bit more cozy and pick up a book about hygge while your at it.
5. Another phrase from the danish about the concept of hygge that I just love is “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” So I decided that we were going to embrace the rain for all that it is. My daughter and I put on our rain boots and rain coats and walked to the library. Yes, we got wet anyways but we didn’t die and since we already had our rain gear on it made being out in the elements not so stressful. We weren’t trying to fight the rain, we were embracing it, rain boots and all! Getting some fun rain gear can be a simple way to make getting out in the rain not so dreadful.
6. It seems like every time I have a day off work it’s raining so I decided to use the time indoors to work on some of my favorite crafty projects. This week I’m painting planter pots for the shop, last week I worked on crochet since one of my good friends is teaching me how. Rainy days are perfect for hobby time.
7. Actually take time to read and journal. I heard people talk about how much journaling helped them with their depression for years and I always thought “how cheesy and pathetic. They must not have actually been depressed.” But this is the first year I have really started to make journaling a habit and it has helped so much. It’s so not cheesy and pathetic, but it’s actually been one of the most helpful tools that I have consistently had to wade into the waters of my mind and feel heard and seen. It’s not for everyone I’m sure, but at least give it a try before you decide it’s not for you. You might be missing out like I was!
Now I need to go find someone from Seattle and see how they cope with never ending rain. Do you have any rainy day things you love to do?
Whether your fighting crippling depression or just a case of the Monday’s, my hope is that this post will at least encourage you to go out there and at least try to make a little sunshine for yourself. Depression is so hard but you are not alone in your battle.
Thanks for reading and as always, stay fabulous.