When the weekend arrives, it’s usually a cause for celebration.
I find myself looking forward to soaking up as much sun as possible before Monday comes knocking. But, sometimes the weather simply won’t cooperate with my best-laid plans for spending time outside.
Clouds roll in, skies turn a frightening shade of gray, and things can quickly become downright gloomy. Thus, I’m left scrambling to salvage my hard-earned free time and avoid cliché Netflix binges or spending hours playing video games.
However, lackluster weather doesn’t necessarily mean that the weekend has to be a total write-off. I’ve become a lot happier making a conscious choice to only worry about the things I can control in life and not ruminating on those that I can’t. Weather included.
There are still tons of great ways to ensure that you get the most out of your weekend, even if it means hours confined indoors. Whether you want to spend a day practicing self-care, planning ahead or even learning some new skills (or a combination of all three), this article has got you covered!
Here’s a list of my seven favorite ways to spend a rainy, lazy Sunday indoors:
1. Pick up a book
Relaxing on my couch while getting lost in a good book is a personal favorite of mine. In fact, I enjoy it so much that I often plan ahead and set aside books in advance in anticipation of the next gloomy weekend. Reading can melt away stress while simultaneously boosting your vocabulary, memory and critical thinking skills.
Whether you decide to expand your knowledge of the world around you through non-fiction or prefer to be transported into another realm with an imaginative thriller, curling up with a good book is always a great decision. Here’s a great list of five Zappos-recommended books that encourage personal growth and increased self-knowledge.
2. Organize your drawers
Rainy days provide an excellent opportunity to tackle some of those household chores that keep slipping through the cracks. Tired of dealing with wardrobe clutter and messy, disorganized storage areas? Setting up a clear organizational system for your clothes will eliminate unsightly piles of laundry while also increasing functional space.
This can make a huge difference in mental health and overall well-being, as maintaining a tidy living area has been proven to decrease stress and lower cortisol levels. It can also make your bedroom and closet areas feel more welcoming, and may even help you get a better sleep. Check out this great article for decluttering tips and an in-depth look at the KonMari Folding Method, an innovative way to tackle messy drawers and maximize space.
3. Plan your next escape
As someone who loves to travel, I know how important planning and preparation is when it comes to scheduling my next adventure. A rainy Sunday is a great time to sit down and research your next trip, regardless of whether you plan to stay closer to home or hit the open road for months on end. Although I enjoy the spontaneity that exploring new places often entails, it still helps to have a rough outline of the overall itinerary.
One of the most important factors I consider when planning a trip away is the gear I'll need to bring along. Nothing can destroy a vacation quicker than being unprepared for the elements. This is especially true in the often gloomy Pacific Northwest, where I'm looking to explore greater Portland. This article on the Ecco Oregon is phenomenal, and I’m seriously considering the shoes and visiting #1 and #4 on this list sometime this year.
4. Find your motivation
A rainy day is also a prime opportunity to sit down and dedicate some time to finding stories of inspiration, motivation and encouragement. I’ve always considered reading narratives about individuals overcoming personal struggles and obstacles both uplifting and incredibly powerful. Reading about our shared humanity can often be an important stepping stone on the path to our personal goals, whatever those may be.
Cultivating lasting health can also catalyze change and growth in our own lives. One such story highlights Lexi and Danny, a married couple who collectively lost over 300 pounds. For a full look at their amazing journey, be sure to read this feature on them titled “Transformation Motivation.”
5. Renew and replenish
There’s often no better time to take a few hours for personal reflection than during a rainy weekend afternoon. Anxiety and stress can build up over the course of a hectic workweek, both of which cause an immense toll on overall health and well-being. An important part of self-care is recognizing when we need to take a step back from our busy lives and turn our focus inwards. Deciding to dedicate a few hours to recharge and to rejuvenate can do wonders for both mental and physical health.
Stretching and yoga flow are both great stress-reducers and can be practiced in the comfort of your home. Additionally, they both can be done at your own pace, intensity level and at whatever time of the day works best for you. For some more discussion about the benefits of yoga and some great poses to practice, read this article titled “Yoga Flow: A Beginner’s Guide To Stretching”.
6. Get in some practice
At my house, extra time indoors often results in some experimentation with new meals and recipes. I’m guilty of falling into somewhat of a “cooking rut” at times, and there are many weeks where I cycle through the same list of five or six meals. Apart from being repetitive and stale, my guests often are less than enthused about my admittedly uninspired menu.
Changing things up can be fun and exciting, and a rainy day allows me to really branch out in the kitchen. After waking up to less than ideal weather, a well-balanced breakfast is integral to ensuring a quality start to my day. This article about quick and easy “power breakfasts” outlines several great options to try that are healthy, easy to make and delicious!
These are just a few of the many fantastic ways to spend a rainy, lazy Sunday and avoid being a victim of lousy weather. Use this time to hunker down and learn a new skill, expand your knowledge and ultimately cultivate growth — either immediately or in the future.
I’ve always found that so much of enjoying and getting the most out of life starts with making the best out of less than ideal situations. As long as you spend the day engaging in something that truly speaks to you, I promise it’ll be both rewarding and time well spent!