It’s summer time, and summer means sunshine and beaches and all things outdoors and warm, right? I’ve already written up a summer bucket list and have spent every sunny day possible out and about.
Unfortunately, summer time is not guaranteed sunshine. My family is in the mountains of the Appalachia, and the bright sunny days are doomed to be surrounded by thunderstorms and lots of grey, dreary days. I’ve spent more time indoors listening to the rain beat against the windows wishing than actually spending time outside in these lovely Blue Ridge Mountains.
This is our second summer here, and really I should be more then used to the fact that summer in the mountains equals lots and lots of rain. Rain is good, obviously, but after days of non-stop thunderstorms it can be quite the downer for those of us who want to hike and swim and just generally be outdoors. I most definitely don’t want to be spending these free-feeling summer days away inside, watching Netflix and wishing the rain away.
Although rainy days might limit your options of ‘things to do’ on a free day, the leisurely but active attitude of summer time doesn’t have to be restricted to only outdoor activities. Today, I am sharing four of my favorite things to do at home. These are just ideas to inspire you and help you create an afternoon you would genuinely enjoy – not just a ‘to do list’ that you feel like you need to check off. Think of it as a base recipe you would add your own spice to!
Without further ado, here are four ways you can beat the rainy day blues.
#1 – Read That Book You’ve Been Eyeing Down
goes well with a warm cup of tea
I know this seems like a no brainer, but we all need a reminder sometimes for even the most obvious things. Personally, the last thing on my agenda is to sit down with a good book and take the time to read a few chapters, but when I do get a chance to sit down and read I always enjoy it. Let’s be honest – it’s hard to make time for it, especially when the warm sun is out and calling my name. What better excuse is there to crack open a book and read than those rainy days that keep you home?
It’s easy to place reading low on the totem pole because we forget just how good it is for us. I love this quote I stumbled on by Joseph Addison, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” Although reading sometimes seems like it’s just another fluffy form of entertainment, it actually can expand our language, better our comprehension skills, and keeps our brain active (unlike TV). With the many, many different kinds and genres of books out there, it would be hard to not find a type of material that resonates with you.
I have my summer reading list that I’ve been dying to get into, and now thanks to all this rain, I have some time to do it.
#2 – Dance Your Heart Out
works best with your favorite upbeat tunes
I know when I say ‘dancing at home’, it’s bound to make people squirm. But hear me out- it’s worth giving a chance! Throw out your initial ideas of dancing – usually associated with super in-love couples. In the movies, there’s always adorable music playing, and the dancing is always spontaneous, motivated solely by the love they share together. Although it’s super sweet, dancing spontaneously in the kitchen isn’t very likely… or really even practical.
The other day, we turned on some Relient K, and the three of us just did some crazy stuff that looked utterly ridiculous- our dance party definitely didn’t belong in any sort of movie! But we had a absolute blast. Joy’s signature move is spinning in circles and running between our legs, while Jeff and I just had fun being a little crazy. We boogied, we waltzed, we spun, we jumped.
Making time to dance is good for the soul. It gets your body moving, and is not-so-surprisingly pretty decent exercise. Most importantly, this fun, care-free dancing forces you to laugh. We already know that laughter is the best medicine, so what better way is there to beat rainy day blues? Personally, I’m a huge fan of doing something that makes our minds and bodies healthier and happier.
#3 – Get Creative
definitely have an oldies musical playing, too
Rainy days are the perfect time to try that new craft or simple DIY project you’ve been dying to start! And I don’t just mean the ‘Pinterest’ type things that you might never look at again – I mean this is the time to do something creative you have always wanted to do. Drive to Micheal’s and buy that art set you’ve been wanting, search tutorials on calligraphy and put pen to paper, pull out your moms sewing kit and make a pillow out of washcloths, etc.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying you should work on something you are explicitly passionate about or want to perfect (although you should work on those things some time), that’s not my point here. Right now, I’m talking about getting your hands dirty working creatively with new activities you haven’t tried before or that you find simple joy in. You don’t have to be good at it to grow from it, to enjoy it, to experience creativity.
My two favorite creative things I’ve been exploring more (but am by no means an expert on!) are calligraphy and watercolor pens. I feel the need to reiterate that I am not even remotely ‘good’ at these at all – my calligraphy is often rough (after six months of practice it’s still not cohesive, and my watercolors are a serious mess. But that’s okay – because I don’t pull these activities out to practice and do perfectly – I pull them out because genuinely enjoy writing kind of pretty and mixing colors together. Find something simple you enjoy doing to get those creative juices flowing!
#4 – Dream A Lot
best done with some paper and your favorite pen
I’m a huge dreamer, so this is possibly my favorite on this list. Although daydreaming is fun, and definitely encouraged, I’m talking about actual taking the first steps towards your dreams. Grab a pen and paper and make an actual, written bucket list. Pull up Airbnb and add some gorgeous homes and rooms to your wishlist. Create a budget. Research ways to pursue what you are passionate about in your local city – what organizations are already here? Are there classes you can take to get closer to your goal?
Sometimes, ‘dreaming’ can be viewed as an lazy, entitled mentality because it can be mistaken as making a naive decision and expecting it to happen without any effort. Don’t make the mistake of view your dreams this way! Although we can have dreams we wish for that may never become a true goal or reality, the things we are passionate about and truly desire are things we should take the time to dream of, to plan for, to work towards.
The dreams you have, whether big or small, were placed there for a purpose. Even if you don’t know exactly what you want or where you see yourself in the future, I bet there are things that get you excited, that fill you up, that make your heart beat. What better time then a rainy day to hash out the details of your crazy, God-sized dream?
I hope these four things give you some inspiration to make the most of those rainy days. At worst, they are four activities that will fill up four afternoons- but at best they can make the most of all those rainy days and bring some extra joy to your summer.
What are your favorite rainy day activities? How do you like to spend a lazy afternoon?
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