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  • Writer's pictureS. E. Shinault

My Favorite Rainy Day Activities

I don't know about you, but today, it's been raining where I live. It's most definitely storm season in my neck of the woods.


Rainy days can sometimes be dreary, but they don’t have to be boring. Sometimes finding joy in the little things can make those gloomy clouds feel less daunting. So here are a few rainy day activities that may help brighten up your world!




Write



This one might be a no-brainer coming from me, but I did title this blog after my personal favorites. Whether penning something by hand or tapping away at a keyboard, writing anything from a novel to a blog post to a personal journal can be a great way to pass the time while also basking in some much needed catharsis. If you don’t feel like writing something super involved, even just making a list of the things that need to get done may help motivate you to get you out of bed on a day when it’s pouring. Either way, you'll feel as though you accomplished something.



Watch Movies



Truly, what's better than curling up on the couch with a warm blanket and some buttery popcorn to enjoy your favorite movie (or a TV show, if you prefer)? Or if watching something brand new is more your speed, you could finally put on that new movie or series you've been wanting to watch for ages but just haven't gotten around to yet. You could even revisit an oldie-but-goodie from your childhood. You may be surprised by how much you've forgotten about these gems, and they can evoke a sense of pleasant nostalgia while the rain taps gently on your windows.



Color In Coloring Books



Do you remember when adult coloring books became all the rage? It seemed like they popped up in bookstores and online almost overnight. And for good reason! Coloring is such a soothing creative activity. It encourages you to be present in the moment with each stroke of your colored pencil or marker, and it brings out your inner child. When I’m feeling sad, stressed, or just need a little break from reality, I can dive into an enchanted forest scene or an abstract geometric design that’s waiting for me to add some color to make it come alive. Then, at the end of it, I get to bask in the masterpiece I created with a sense of accomplishment.



Sketch



Speaking of creative activities, one of my personal favorites is sketching. I've loved drawing ever since I was a kid. Growing up, if the power ever went out at our house during a storm, the TV and computer were no longer options for entertainment, so my go-to was lighting a candle or grabbing a flashlight, then I'd sit down at the kitchen table to draw. As I grew older and started writing novels, sketching became a great tool for helping me visualize the characters in my own stories. Whether I'm drawing a character or just letting the pencil guide me to something completely random, it's been one of my favorite hobbies for as long as I can remember.



Read



Reading is also a wonderful activity for when the power goes out on a rainy day. And even if your lights stay on, snuggling up with a good book is so relaxing. Books have this amazing ability to transport us to far-off places, allowing us to meet an interesting cast of characters, all from the comfort of our own homes (or wherever you like to read)! So the next time a rainy day rolls around and you've got nothing else to do, pick up that book you've been dying to start, or even finish the one that's been untouched by your bedside for the last several weeks (or months, in my case). Your brain will thank you for it!



Play Video Games



Now this activity may not be for everyone, but I know for me, playing a video game can have a similar effect as watching a movie or reading a book. It's a great time passer, but it's also more interactive, requiring you to be extra engaged and to strategize as a narrative plays out before your eyes. Perhaps you'd prefer a puzzle game over a deeper narrative. There's certainly no shortage of those on the video game market. So, if you enjoy gaming, fire up your favorite console or a PC and relish in the challenge it brings, and the creativity it inspires. As long as the power stays on, it's always a good time for gaming!



Drink A Warm Beverage



Who doesn't love a warm beverage every once in a while? I know I do. While the vast majority of people prefer to drink coffee, I'm not really a fan. I prefer warm drinks like a rich, soothing tea, or a sweet mug of hot chocolate, maybe even some spiced apple cider for when I want something with a bit of zing to it. If you prefer not to make your own and would rather brave the rain to visit your local coffee shop, I recommend trying a hot chai latte. Its subtle, spiced aroma is enough to lift my spirits on a gloomy day—or any other day—and its creamy sweetness is so calming from the first sip to the last drop. It's my go-to warm beverage to order when I'm out and about. What's yours?



Make A Sweet Treat



Sinking your teeth into a sweet treat is the absolute best. And, on a day when it's dark and rainy out, having a little morsel of comfort food can be a great way to lift your spirits. While there's no shortage of recipes online for various cakes, cookies, pies, and more, I have a couple that I gravitate toward almost every time. For example, s'mores are an easy and positively scrumptious option. Rather than making individual s'more sandwiches, sometimes I'll take a small baking pan, coat it with some spray butter, and then layer chocolate and marshmallows until the pan is full. First, I bake it until the marshmallows are just turning golden brown. Then, I take some graham crackers and break them into quarters, and voila! The gooiest s'mores dip you ever laid eyes on! Another favorite that I've only started doing recently is making a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows and a hint of brown sugar. While we normally see this recipe around Thanksgiving, it's honestly great any time of year. I made some for desert just the other night! But you don't have to get too fancy if you don't want to. Sometimes just a package of cookies and a cup of milk will do the trick, satisfying a sweet tooth and brightening your day at the same time.



Nap





If all else fails, and you have the good fortune of not having to work when rainy weather hits, napping is the absolute best. There's just something about the soft rush of the rain and the distant roll of thunder that lulls you to sleep. In fact, most people get drowsy on rainy days. Science suggests it's because the sound of rain is naturally soothing to us, that the darker, cooler weather helps the body prepare for sleep, and even that the negative ions produced in the air during a storm create a calming effect. I have a theory that, maybe, our ancestors knew better than to go out into the rain if it wasn't absolutely necessary, so they took advantage of the time to rest and build up their energy reserves, waiting for the weather to pass. But, it's just a theory. Most of us don't have the excuse to stay inside when the rain hits with the demands of this fast-paced world and the conveniences of modern technology and motor vehicles. Not to mention umbrellas! Yet, if you do have the opportunity to slow down, remember to rest and enjoy the gentle pitter patter (or even roaring torrent) of the droplets on your window, beckoning you to breathe and drift away from all the drudgery, if only for a while.




What are some of your favorite rainy day activities? Comment your suggestions. I may just wind up adopting a few of them!





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