4 Ways to Get Outside on Rainy Days to Boost Your Mental Health

These activities are arguably more invigorating in the rain.

Woman walking in the rain
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Looking for ways to increase your emotional wellness? Getting outside can do wonders, even when it rains. According to Dr. Anisha Patel-Dunn, D.O., psychiatrist, and chief medical officer of LifeStance Health, a provider of virtual and in-person outpatient mental health care, these moments spent outdoors are critical to our wellbeing. "It may sound simple, but things like sticking to a routine, eating nutritious meals, spending time with loved ones, and getting outside every day are all helpful tools to ensure we're taking care of our overall mental health," she says. Ultimately, there are plenty of ways to make the most of a day spent in the rain—you just need to prepare accordingly. Ahead, we outline several activities that will help you get outdoors even when it drizzles.

Woman meditating on porch
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Listen to a meditation.

Dr. Patel-Dunn shares that "the sky is really the limit" when it comes to the activities you can enjoy outdoors in the rain—and listening to a meditation is one of them. Cycle through a session from the comfort of a covered patio where you can hear the rain, for example. To get started, test out mediation apps, like Calm, Headspace, or Insight Timer, which have guided meditations that you can follow.

Woman walking in the rain
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Go for a walk.

Round up an umbrella and brave a walk or a hike in the rain. "For most people, carving out some time to walk in nature—or even just around the block—can be an enjoyable way to practice self-care, rain or shine," notes Dr. Patel-Dunn. Combine this activity with the above by taking a walking meditation, which will help you center your thoughts as you stroll.

Reading a book and drinking coffee on a rainy day
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Read a book.

Are you a book worm? If you have an outdoor covered area available, sit underneath it and read a few chapters while it's raining. Ultimately, though, you can try just about any restful, restorative activity in this protected space—you can stream an episode of your favorite show or cycle through a yoga flow, should you have the room. So long as you choose a ritual that boosts joy and happiness, you'll reap the benefits of practicing it outdoors.

Woman dancing in the rain
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Jump, play, and dance with your kids.

"Don't be afraid to experiment and try something new," Dr. Patel-Dunn. "Working these self-care moments into our daily life can really make a difference in overall mental wellbeing." This can be as simple as rounding up the kids and dashing out into the rain; play in the mud, jump in puddles, and dance and twirl. You'll quickly remember that there's nothing quite like the feeling of wet earth beneath your feet—and that jumping from puddle to puddle is something you're never too old to enjoy.

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