I just got back from a business trip to San Diego. It was beautiful- sunny and seventy-five degrees all week long. I ate every meal outside (all the restaurants have outdoor seating!) and I got a tan. A little one, but still. A legit tan. When my plane was landing, the pilot announced that Seattle weather was currently “raining and around 40 degrees”. I wanted to cry and beg the plane to turn around take me back.
A weird thing happens to a lot of Northwest locals where they start to actually kind of LIKE the rain. Like, in the summer, we’ll have a cloudy day and they’ll be relieved. They’ll say, “thank God it’s raining! I was getting so sick of all that sun.” It takes everything in me not to lash out violently towards these people.
My husband will tell you that I was depressed for the first few hours I was home. I started bugging him about moving to San Diego, and he rightfully noted that a move is not a decision to be based solely on weather. (There are many other reasons to move to San Diego, but I’ll work on him with those). I needed a plan to help me survive the next few months until spring… and then through the rainy spring into summer. I came up with some goals that I think will help me not only survive, but hopefully thrive until the Northwest’s Heaven season is upon us.
- Buy flowers. Lots of flowers. There’s not much quality outdoor time during winter in my neck of the woods. It’s mostly cold, grey and raining. It’s hard not to feel cooped up and disconnected with nature. I’ve decided to always have a vase if fresh flowers somewhere in my house to help remind me that summer exists SOMEWHERE in the world, even if it’s not in my neighborhood.
- Take time away. The trip to Southern California helped me realized how much it helps to get out of the rain for a few days. While there, I was waking up early and more productive than ever. I came home feeling more energetic than I had in a while. If I need to, I’m going to take another trip to wherever there’s sunshine.
- Use my happy light. There is a lot of evidence and research backing the efficacy of full-spectrum lights in helping one’s mood. Granted, sitting next to a bright lamp doesn’t feel nearly as good as basking in the sunshine, but I’m a believer in trying whatever might help.
- Plan summertime adventures. I went ahead and booked a camping trip for late July, and I’m hard at work figuring out meal plans and guests. It’s six months away, but looking at pictures of beautiful Lake Blanca and thinking about fun Northwest summer adventures is keeping me afloat.
- Keep my blinds and curtains open. Greg and I have gotten into the habit of leaving curtains closed because it’s a pain to open and close them every day. However, I’m realizing that I need to take advantage of every little sunbeam that comes my way. I’m not doing myself any favors by making my house even darker than it needs to be.
- Move. I am seriously considering what it would look like to move south in a few years. Maybe some people just aren’t built for the rain. If I’m one of them, it would be nice to spend at least a few years in the sun- though I know I’ll always end up back in the rainy Northwest.
Do you have any strategies that help you survive bad weather in winter? Help a girl out!