Rainy day blues? 8 ways to boost your mood when the sun is away

Mental Health

by Baylor Scott & White Health

Jan 22, 2019

Willie Nelson sings, “Save those dimes and nickels, save ‘em for a rainy day.” But what happens when the rainy and gray days keep coming, day after day after day? Have you ever wondered how these rainy days affect us? You’re probably heard some people complain about more joint pain, changes in mood, feeling tired and having problems with concentration. These can all be symptoms related to changes in weather.

Think of us humans as solar panels. Physiologically, we need the sunlight to get a lot of our energy — not just our Vitamin D — so it only makes sense that we tend to feel down and fatigued during continuous gloomy days.

As a psychiatrist, here’s my advice on how we can recharge our “batteries” and find alternatives to beat the rainy day blues!

Let there be light

Keep the lights around you on. It may not the best for your electric bill, but it is good for your mood and level of alertness.

Make a list

Have a list of things that you can do inside the house; not just pending chores, but also healthy distractions you enjoy like reading or watching a movie.

Get moving

Don’t skip your workout. You can still go to the gym or find an exercise video online that you can do inside the house.

Be a chef for a night

Cook yourself or your family a nice dinner. It will refrain you from eating unnecessary snacks, keep you busy and give you a sense of comfort.

Related: Exercises that can boost mental health

Dial in with loved ones

A raniy day is the perfect time to call that friend or family member you’ve been meaning to catch up with.

Catch some zzz’s

Make sure you keep up with your nighttime routine. Sleeping well can make a huge difference in maintaining a healthy brain and body.

Take mental breaks

If you are at work, walk around during your breaks, talk to a co-worker, share your lunch or indulge in a cup of warm tea.

Find gratitude in the storm

Finally, just remember that rainy days don’t have to be blue. Watch the rain, enjoy the sound it makes as it falls and be grateful to the water for feeding our environment. Meditate and use these feelings of gratitude to stay positive and grounded in the present.

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