How To Brighten Your Mood When It's Raining

We all know by now that too much rain can be dangerous to life and limb. But rain can also be dangerous to your psyche, and even if you're not at risk of flooding, you've probably recognized that constant rain is fucking depressing. Herewith, some tips for feeling better.

Right at the outset, we should say that if you're suffering from clinical depression, it's a good idea to seek medical treatment if at all possible (we also have some tips for doing that). A shrink can also help you with seasonal issues. Short of that, though, there are a few things you can do to beat back the rainy day blues.

Find an indoor pool.

Yeah, you can't go to the beach. But you can go to the pool — and anything where you wear flip-flops and splash around is sort of like summer camp. Plus swimming is a great way to get endorphins coursing through your system. And if you're already wet, you'll be less annoyed when you get rained on during the walk home.

Put on fast music.

This is kind of a no-brainer, but a gloomy day is probably not the time for your Greatest Hits of Sad-Core playlist. I like Camera Obscura, Ladytron, or maybe Del Tha Funkee Homosapien — something that will discourage you from lying on the floor and staring out the window at the gray sky while thinking of all your past breakups.

Do indoor errands.

For a mild weather-related funk, getting shit done can be a satisfying cure. Maybe you can't paint the gutters or whatever, but you can clean the toilet. Or pay your phone bill. Or email your cousin. Or wax your fishtank. It doesn't matter what it is, the point is that you have stuck it to the rain by being efficient anyway.

Burn candles.

You're not trapped inside, you're nesting. Making your indoor space pleasant can make it feel like less of a bummer to be in it. Plus, candles have a way of turning a day from bleak to cozy. Just make sure not to leave them unattended. Also, trim the wicks, or you could end up with a gross black stain on your ceiling that's like a raincloud, but permanent.

Cook.

Cooking is like a combination of swimming and burning candles. What? Hear me out. It combines physical activity (chopping, scrubbing, crawling around under the sink looking for the pasta strainer) with tasty smells. Cooking a nice meal for yourself gives you something to think about, something to do with your hands, and something to eat when you're done — all of which are good distractions from the gloom outside.

Get a HappyLite.

This is a little more expensive than the above, and it's more for true seasonal depression than for a milder case of the blues. But especially if you live in a cold climate, one of these lights can make dark days look a lot brighter — literally. They work by mimicking sunshine, and you can use one at home or in an office.

Help someone.

I've never found the "think of someone less fortunate" adage especially helpful for a bad mood — great, now I just feel guilty. But doing something for somebody else can be pretty happy-making. A rainy day is probably not the best day to go dig at the community garden (unless you really like mud), but maybe you can sign up for a shift at a nearby soup kitchen. Or call an older relative you haven't heard from in a while. Or just help a coworker figure out some new software. Even reaching out in a small way can make an otherwise crappy day slightly less crappy for all concerned.

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