Survival Guide To When Its Grey Outside
I'm a Hawaii girl, who moved to Seattle...You could say its been a little rough at times. Seattle is a gorgeous place, and I absolutely love the vibe and the incredible people I've met here but when it gets grey out, all I seem to want to do is lay in bed, eat ice cream and watch a ton of movies.
That is totally fine, and I'm not going to bash on that because I love it. But unfortunately, here in Seattle that kind of weather could happen for weeks on end. I have to be able to focus on other things at some point, do fun things and basically be able to live my life even when the sunshine is non existent.
It's not always going to be easy, and having a day inside with movies is definitely an option, just remember to give yourself that day and not feel guilty or judge yourself for it. You relaxed and took the time you needed, its a good thing. However, for the days that you need some self exploration time, or just want to do something that might work toward some happiness and positivity a little more actively, this is for you.
Here is my survival guide for not just you Seattleites out there, but anyone who might have seasonal depression, or even just want to do something fun on a day that is dreary.
1. Get a happy lamp
Studies show this improves your mood, and for those days when you don't see the sun, can really help you out. I use mine on a routine schedule on grey days, shine it in the morning over your coffee and as you get ready. Use it during the day if you can at all, then use it for a approx 10-15 minutes once you get home and then turn it off for the night. (Depending on when the sun goes down for you alter it to what works best for you obviously).
2. Visit an indoor garden, greenhouse, etc.
If you're in Seattle, I recommend Volunteer Park Conservatory. It's beautiful and extremely helpful to be around nature when you're sad or not too happy about the weather.
Plus its nice and warm in there, you can't go wrong.
3. Try out an indoor sport
I haven't done this yet but I'm planning to sign up to do more indoor tennis once its grey again this winter. Working out helps so much with mood and self care!! Cannot express that enough, so try something that might be fun for you.
4. Pools, jacuzzis, saunas. Need I go on?
5. Sweat out your toxins, then get a facial.
One of my favorite things to do is head to a yoga class or pilates, sweat everything out in my body. All the negativy and unhappiness. Then treat myself even further with a facial. It's great because I clear out my pores, then shower and head to get my skin feeling rejuvenated. Best way to do it in my opinion.
6. Embrace the cozy feeling and head to a coffee shop and read/draw/color
I say specifically to read/draw/color or do something creative with yourself because sitting in a coffee shop isn't everyones thing, but I have to say it does bring the creative juices flowing for a lot of people. So why not try it out? And maybe while you're at it try out a new coffee shop and see what vibe works for you.
7. Art galleries/museums
I love love love art museums, and could probably spend days in one just reading about the piece and trying to understand each in my own way. I find them to be fascinating with so much to learn from each piece. Some of you might be reading this and saying yeahhh no I love ya but f that. Totally get it might not be your cup of tea. I still say to try it out. Go for what you're more interested in obviously, and do it the way you want to do it. Maybe bring your journal or listen to music the whole time you're in there. Or bring a friend who has more of an interest in it to talk to you about the pieces and expand what you might think of something. It can be cool to learn guys, crazy thought I know.
8. Try some new comfort food
For those in Seattle? I say explore Chinatown and get some amazing food at a cozy hole-in-the-wall type of place. You'll have fun looking at all the cool foods, and indoor markets too.
9. Dance it out
Whether you're at home alone or want to try out an actual class, this applies. Sometimes you just need to laugh at yourself and have some fun.
10. Go hiking, even in the rain
I did this for the first time in Hawaii once with some of my friends and have to say it was one of the best times we ever had on a hike. It ended with mud sliding down a mountain so I mean, hard to top that. But hiking can be great even the rain, make sure you obviously wear the right clothing and keep warm but it can be extremely therapeutic sometimes so definitely try this out.
11. Grab your friends & have a board game party
I've been wanting to do this for a while now. Cause who doesn't love boardgames, am I right? Well when its gray out one of these weekends I suggest planning out a full day of chilling, playing some awesome games, and whether you make some tea or add wine into the mix doesn't really matter in my opinion. As long as you're having some fun with your friends.
12. Libraries, book stores, and so much more
Books make everything better. It's a fact, and sometimes just exploring a bookstore, coming up with a stack of books and sitting down to explore some of them, is just the thing you ended up needing.
13.Try a new recipe
Cooking can be fun, I'm not always the best at it but it can be fun to try new recipes and make something fun. Go on Pinterest and find something fun to make, try it out. I usually go for something fall related.
14. Try your hand at photography
Go out in the grey and find some cool new spots to photograph. Even if you're not an expert, even if all you have to take photos is your iPhone, see what you can find and capture.
15. TAKE VITAMINS
Can't really express how serious I am about this but I know theres a difference for my body and how I'm feeling when I take vitamins compared to when I don't.
Everyone in a primarily grey-weathered city or town needs to be taking vitamins. If you're not, please start asap.
16. Go skiing or snowboarding
When it gets cold out, I usually get a little excited because it means its time for snow. Snow is visually just better to look at then rain, its pretty and makes everyone look so wonderful. Ya gotta love it. But I think being active in the snow is even better, so even if its a day trip somewhere to go sledding, its taking a minute to embrace the time of year and have some fun with it.
Take some time to clear out the clutter, and focus on the things that really matter. Whether that means cleaning out your closet and donating a bunch of stuff or taking some time for yourself and meditating or journaling, it helps.
18. Rock climb
Rock climbing gyms are perfect for when its grey out. The adrenaline is just what you need sometimes, plus for a lot of you it might be something new to try out.
19. Plan a trip out
Take some time and plan your next adventure! Whether its somewhere in the state or country your in that you've always wanted to go or somewhere halfway around the world that you want to fly to, make a plan. Do some research on the place, have fun with making the plan and print it out, tape it to your fridge, know that you can and will do it.
20. See a play or concert
Embrace the musicals and indoor music. It can be something fun to look forward to, so the more you plan for the winter the better. Be pro active with yourself and know what you would love to see ahead of time.
21. Sign up for a class
Sometimes trying something new can end up being what you look forward to during these grey days. Painting, photography, writing, literature, French, Spanish, cooking, acting, you name it theres probably a class for it.
22. Book some time in a spa
Someone told me there is a spa in Seattle that has an indoor beach with sand. I will update you all when I find this and visit to see it for myself. Definitely, spas can be an oasis though, and in this day and age, there are so many different options to try out.
23. Thrift store shopping
Probably my favorite time to go thrifting is when its grey out. It just adds to the aesthetic.
This is my little spiel but ya know I have to say it. If you are aware that you have seasonal depression or just in general notice any sort of changes in your mood and don't feel happy regularly consider heading to a therapy session or two and talking to someone that can help. I'm no pro but I do struggle with it and know that sometimes talking to a therapist makes me feel 100x better.
25. Get some puppy love
This isn't me telling you to go buy a puppy, although trust me during times like these I've really seriously almost just broken down and got one for myself. Some animal time is known to help a lot though, so even just visiting the humane society and seeing all the cute pups and kittens can improve your mood a little.
Even if your not an artist, there are ways to make painting fun. What I used to do when I was young was fill balloons with paint and post them up on a large board, then grab some darts and try your aim. Such a fun way to spend a day.
27. Take the train or bus somewhere
Go off on an adventure, where you can choose to plan ahead or just wing it and see where it take you.
28. Make sure you have a good raincoat
One that keeps you warm and actually doesn't let the water wreck your mood, its kind of crucial during this time of year.
Making time to volunteer can leave you feeling pretty good, plus the need during this time of year is extreme. Whether its with the homeless, children, animals, farms, the list goes on and on.
30. Break things
Feeling angry or just really looking to let out some emotion? Believe it or not you can pay to break things and not clean it up after, its a thing and Im loving the idea. People have created a place where you are handed a bat and helmet, put in a room with random things in it and allowed to go full on Purge.
Mental health is something many people should worry about not just during this time of the year too, but even more so it becomes apparent during this time. This is a great way to let out how you feel without any guilt or regret.
31. Comedy shows
Any way you can get yourself laughing and smiling during this time is the way to live your life. Comedy shows, stand up, funny podcasts, whatever it is, make a list and do them all.