Self-Compassion For Those Rainy Day Blues

Rainy Day Blues

We need self-compassion for our rainy day blues.  Raindrops in the morning make us want to pull the sheets the rest of the way over our heads, and hide out in a pillow fort, like the ones we made as children.  There is something about the rain that tells our brain, “Maybe no work today.  This is rest time.”  In terms of Evolutionary Psychology, this makes sense.  Think about it.  Lots of rain means poor visibility.  Poor visibility means that it is hard to hunt, hard to travel, and hard to see your enemies.  Thousands of years ago, these were all concerns that needed to be taken seriously, and perhaps the best response to these concerns then was to stay at home and rest. 

Bed

For all these reasons, it is hard to get out of bed on rainy days.  Nevertheless, we trudge on out of our homes with bags, and rain boots, and umbrellas, often looking a little disheveled like we did as elementary school students so many years ago.  The wet weather has a way of bringing us back to our youth, which may be heart warming or frustrating depending on whether the moment has you longing to look more youthful or whether it has you wishing to appear organized and neat. We chuck our belongings into our respective cars, and begin our long drives to school or work.  The rain makes people drive a little slower, which means a little more effort on our parts to get to where we are going.

Work

Once we reach our destinations, we still find it odd to see so many people at work.  Don’t they know it’s raining?  Much like their driving, people tend to work a little slower on rainy days.  When one rainy day becomes many rainy does, this process leads to a sense of malaise.  So, we try the two skills we have at our disposal to feel better: avoidance and approach.  With the former, we try to avoid our sad, tired, and frustrated feelings with food, warm beverages, articles, and videos.  With the latter, we tell coworkers how much we love rainy days.  We make it a point to display our new rain boots.  We even think about getting inclement weather gear, so we can exercise in the rain.

Despite our best efforts, we still feel sad or anxious.  We feel sad because our attempts to avoid our feelings just put them off.  We feel anxious because we are preventing our body from feeling sad, and working really hard to do so in the process, which leaves us feeling tense and uncomfortable.  In either case, we are missing the one thing we need to acknowledge our experience and move on, namely self-compassion.

Simple Self-Compassion Steps For The Rainy Day Blues

Self-Compassion tells us that we do not need to get rid of our feelings.  Our fears about having our life ruined by feelings are just fears.  Fear, after all, is just another feeling.  Instead, we need to acknowledge our feelings.  We need to ground these feelings in our bodies by noticing where they come up.  We need to soften around these tense areas to give way to a greater sense of ease.  We also need to acknowledge that we come by these feelings naturally, so that we can allow ourselves to feel them, and let them go.  Then, do something really kind for yourself.  In this way, rainy days cease to be a time to simply mourn the beautiful days that could have been, but rather present an opportunity to practice self-compassion, to accept that you and your feelings are enough, and to express gratitude to all the noble people before us, who lived through the rain, so that we could be alive today.

365 Days Of Self-Compassion.  Day 246.  In The Books.