It’s springtime, which means on top of everything blooming and turning green (yay, allergies!) it’s also that time of the year where the rains come down…and down…and down…
While a lot of us may want to go outside and enjoy the spring season, sometimes the weather doesn’t permit any such excursions – in which case, it’s time to get creative. Want to alleviate boredom while also avoiding typical fallbacks of the indoors? Here are seven things you can do on a rainy day!
1. Read a book – but get creative about it
Is there a particular author you’ve always heard about, but never read? Is there a series that you’ve wanted to explore, but never started? Is there a completely random book on your bookshelf that just appeared there, with no explanation as to how?
Now is the time to explore all of the literature that’s gotten away from you in the past. Perhaps you try a genre you don’t usually read, or an author you’ve never really considered. Maybe you go for it and try to read all the books written by said author (I tried it – it took a while, but was incredibly fun). The choices are endless, especially when you get creative!
2. Watch new movies – but make it a challenge
One of the ways I entertain myself on days inside is by keeping track of films I want to see but haven’t seen yet. I have a comprehensive list of movies released each year, sorted by country, and color coded so that I know which streaming service offers each one, so I can watch them with services I already pay for and I don’t have to pay extra just to watch a new movie. But if this sounds like a lot of work (and it is, I just have WAY too much time on my hands) there are plenty of other routes to take when exploring the world of cinema.
Consider genre, content, period, director, actor – anything which helps you narrow down your options (because there are literally thousands of options) and go from there. Try movies that don’t look interesting, because even though thier marketing campaign might have failed, it doesn’t mean that the movie is necessarily bad.
The best part about this for me is when it moves from “watching a movie” to “completing a goal”. I recently set out with the intention of watching The Irishman on Netflix (Martin Scorcese, 2019) which, at a hefty 3.5 hours, was a huge commitment, even for me – but when I paired it with my daily workouts, I managed to get through the whole thing while crushing my fitness goals. So who knows? When you pair your movie-watching with other goals, you may find that turning on the TV can actually help you have a pretty good day.
3. Organize something
That drawer that doesn’t open because it’s too full, that closet which is always closed because things fall out every time you go in there, that stack of papers on your desk which keeps growing and growing and growing…
One of my favorite rainy-day activities is to sort through all of the piles which surround me on a daily basis (and there are quite a few) and figure out what can go. Even if things aren’t necessarily more organized, I love the wonderful feeling of getting rid of garbage. It’s like getting high off of throwing things away – I just can’t get enough of it.
Organization can sometimes be overwhelming for even the most organized people, so start small. Pick one drawer or one pile. When you’ve finished completely, if you feel up to it, move on to another drawer. Watch your spirits lift as you rid yourself of clutter and things that you don’t need (and maybe it’s time to throw on one of the films on your to-watch list while you’re at it).
4. Have a spa day
Feeling tired or down in the dumps? Rainy days can sometimes be difficult, especially for those who struggle with depression or other mood disorders. On these days, it’s especially important to be gentle with oneself and to remember that it’s okay to have an off day – and that you are under no obligation to be productive when you’re feeling out of sorts.
How can you feel better, then? For me, it sometimes helps to indulge in a little pampering. Gentle facemasks, doing my nails, taking a warm shower and deep conditioning my hair – these all help me physically reset my day and give me a shot at feeling better. Having a “spa” day doesn’t necessarily mean that, however. What’s important is that you relax, so maybe for you it means sitting by a window with a cup of tea, watching the rain patter against the window pane. Maybe it means making a pillow fort and eating chips while hiding from the world inside it. Maybe it means binge-watching a show while doing absolutely nothing.
Whatever helps you relax and reset your mind is a good way to start. As long as you don’t use these things as a way of avoiding your issues, it’s okay to indulge in these things every now and again.
5. Have a goal-planning session
A lot of times rainy days make me feel like I’m trapped and can’t get anything done. I get a little stir-crazy (and since being in quarantine, this feeling is getting harder and harder to ignore), and I feel as though nothing I do matters, because everything is changing and the things I do now aren’t going to make a difference in my future.
This is when I pull out my colorful pens, my planner, and my laptop, and I start planning. I write down goals from now until far into the future. I think about what I want to do tomorrow, and next week, and next month, and next year. I set expectations for myself. I write down steps to meet these goals, and google questions I have to fill in the gaps in my knowledge. I plan and plan and plan, and I get REALLY excited to start working on these plans.
These goals encourage me and give me direction for how to spend my time. On my off days, I give myself permission to do nothing about these things – but to prepare myself for the days when I have momentum, so that there is nothing holding me back when I have the energy to pursue them. It’s how this blog gets written: on the days when I have no idea what to write, I sit and plan content for weeks in advance. On the days when I have the energy to write a thousand words in ten minutes, I already have the topics to write, so I don’t get slowed down by trying to come up with ideas.
What goals do you want to crush? Try to be as specific as possible, and explore the things which you may automatically write off as impossible. You never know what you can achieve with a little diligence and discipline!
6. Take an online class
Do you have any idea how many tutorials and online classes exist FOR FREE on the internet? Just about anything you want to learn can be found on YouTube, if you’re clever enough to find it.
One of my favorite past times is learning online. I once spent an entire week taking a YouTube class on how to use Adobe Illustrator – a really useful skill for someone in my field – just because I was bored and curious about this app. It opened up an entire world of learning for me: sewing, beekeeping, tea-making (I love the idea of growing herbs for tea, although I’ll admit I’m not very good at keeping plants alive), investing, marketing, blogging (go figure) – and other topics I’ve forgotten about but could probably find by looking through my browser history. The bottom line is that I’ve learned a lot on rainy days, simply by using my resources to explore the things that interest me.
7. Try a new recipe
I joke with my friends that I was taught to cook by Gordon Ramsay – although this isn’t exactly false. I happened to take his online Masterclass (alas, it wasn’t free, but quite worth it) when I was stuck inside one day, and it changed the cooking world for me.
Now, one of my favorite things to do is to try new recipes – the weirder the better – and see what happens. If I don’t happen to have all the ingredients I need, I happily accept the challenge, and see what I can make with the ingredients I do have. This has given me a love of cooking, a versitality in the kitchen, and has killed countless hours of boredom – as well as providing (usually) yummy food which I can enjoy afterwards!
I hope that this has provided you with some ideas and will help you kill hours of boredom. What do you do on rainy days? I can’t wait to hear from you!