How do you feel about the rain? And what on earth does it have to do with self-care? Let’s walk through our memories together, and reflect on how our experiences can shape (or limit) our ability to self-focus and self-nurture.
In the last few days we’ve had a month’s quota of rainfall and it’s not easing hugely yet. For those whose homes have flooded, whose routes to work or school have proved impassable, rain is an unwelcome and messy obstacle, dangerous even.
I’m fortunate in that I live at the top of a steep hill, making rainy months one of the few times I’m actually grateful for the climb to my front door. I’m fortunate to live far from the risk of serious flooding, monsoon, or tsunami. To so many, rain brings dread. And even for those of us whose homes are safe and dry, rainy days bring a certain irritation, frustrating our plans.
I don’t love the rain. I experience the irritation of plans dampened, and understand the dangers continuous rain can bring. And yet, as I sit writing this, I am listening to recorded rainfall here, and loving it (there is even an app!) Can my mind resent what my ears adore? Yes, as easily as it can manage all of the other paradoxes we live with daily!
Rainy days act as a thread, drawing itself through many different chapters of my story – the different climates, homes, experiences I have lived. Rain somehow links me to myself, the selves of my past, the ecosystem of my own story.
Rain-filled memories: the flooding in this country, the green fields in that one; the dry cosiness of this home, the battle with damp and mould in that one; the exultant joy of dancing in the rain and the bustle of black umbrellas observing the niceties of sharing pavement space.
What are your rain-filled memories?
What threads of experience come alongside each other in the rain?
Do your memories jostle in the paradox of mixed emotions?
Or do they sit in their places, harmoniously turn-taking to tell your story?
What self-care opportunities do rainy days bring?
Rainy days offer the opportunity for introspection, a home-coming to the self, an opportunity to self-care or self-nurture.
How many of us find ourselves glued to our window panes, watching the deluge pour down in the world out there. And why not? ‘Out there’ is where the people are that matter.
This is how so many of us orient ourselves to the world, after all. I find this especially true for the Third Culture Kids I work with – we are highly attuned to out there – to all the feelings and expectations and needs of others. Many of us have highly developed social skills; abilities to adapt into multiple social situations. We learn early that awareness of ‘out there’ is necessary for social survival, and that by developing this skill we even have a good chance of socially thriving. And so ‘out there’ we look, listening and watching and adapting.
But today is a rainy day and perhaps we feel stuck at home, even stuck in our own Self. So let’s turn from ‘out there’ and refocus inwards, to our own feelings, our lives, our own homes. Can a rainy day invite us to explore the parameters of our own ‘in here’? We can take stock of our own resources, take a pause to remember our selves. In here we matter too.
In here we can nurture ourselves. On rainy days we can reach for comfort food, soul food that warms us from our toes to our fingertips. We can wrap our bodies in blankets and notice our own needs. More than this even, we can respond to our own needs.
What will you do to self-care on your rainy day?