Winter in the Seattle area can be tough, even for those who claim that the weather does not affect them. From grey skies, to inches and inches of rain, sometimes it takes proactive effort to beat Seattle’s rainy day blues.
The gray and wet of winter months can be especially tough for newcomers who are used to sunnier climates. For you, the key to surviving the drab winter will be taking advantage of the hours when the sun peeks through and finding ways to combat the blues when those hours seem few and far between, so that weather won’t ever dampen your mood. Here are ten ways you can beat the rainy day blues so common here in the Pacific Northwest.
10 Ways to Beat the Rainy Day Blues in Seattle
Savor the Seattle Snow
It’s snowing, it’s snowing! One thing Seattle-area residents know how to do well is embrace the youthful feeling snow brings out every time it makes an appearance here. Throw on your boots, parka and scarf and take a walk around the neighborhood to see how your neighbors are enjoying the snow. You’re sure to come upon snowmen, snow ball fights and frolicking pets hopping from snow mound to snow mound. Here in the Seattle area, snow doesn’t have to be associated with cold, wet, and messy; it can be a reason to get out during the day and appreciate what nature has provided, both physically and emotionally.
Hike in the Rain
If there is one thing to know about the Puget Sound region, it’s that it rains… A LOT. But that rain isn’t usually a downpour, and often amounts to no more than a soft fine mist, with moderate temperatures nearly year round.
Why not make some rainy days an adventure? You can do this by grabbing a few friends and planing a day trip to one of many nearby hiking destinations. Pack up your rain jacket and hiking boots get packed up hit the hills! Hiking in the rain is very Seattle-esqe, so even if your friends bail, you will probably find many people out on the trails with you. Rattlesnake Ridge, Franklin Falls, and Mt. Si are all popular hikes near the Tacoma-Seattle area.
Meet a Friend for Coffee
Take advantage of rainy days to plan a catch up session with both the long-lost friends you rarely see and the best friends you might see frequently. Something about the rain adds comfort to a cozy coffee shop. Loading up on caffeine can help you stay chipper during what might seem like an endlessly rainy day. Often times, local coffee shops will feature live, local musicians which can help broaden your music library and make the time pass quickly. Catching a live band playing inside a coffee shop is a wonderful way to stay in the local know.
Get Your Nature Fix Inside
When it’s pouring rain outside, it’s hard to enjoy the plants and landscape. But you can still get your nature fix by visiting one of the many arboretums, nature exhibits, indoor rain forests or conservatories in the Seattle area. Likewise, you can decorate your own home with vibrant indoor plants, so you can get a daily fix without having to face the forces outdoors.
You’re going to get sweaty anyway, so why worry about a little rain? Running or walking for exercise outside can generally be done 12 months out of the year in the Puget Sound region, where – though wet – temperatures are generally mild. Increasing your heart rate while breathing fresh air is an instant mood booster and can help you find a new-found appreciation for the Seattle area, and get your day get back on track. Joining a neighborhood co-ed running group, soccer group, or walking group can also help you increase your steps-per-day. Many people find that exercise makes them feel more positive in general – as well as about themselves – and if you just happen to beat your friends in a FitBit challenge, it’s a bonus!
Get Out into the Community
When you want to be social but don’t want to go far from home, you might attend or even help plan and host a neighborhood game night. All it really takes is finding neighbors who enjoy playing games, getting together over food, and laughing the night away as you get to know your neighbors better than ever before. Card games, board games, acting games, or sports games, you can get your social fix in while avoiding a trek far from home.
Beer and Wine Tastings
Fun fact: Seattle has more breweries per capita than any other city in the U.S. and Washington has a thriving wine and beer industry. Redhook Brewery in nearby Woodinville gives tours, tastings, and has a restaurant where you can take in lunch with friends after your tour. The Woodinville area is also home to several winery tasting rooms where you can while away rainy days.
The greater Seattle area has a plethora of dining and drinking destinations to choose from and as you work your way through the list, you’re going to find that they all have wonderful stories to tell of how they were established. At many tasting rooms you’ll also be able to purchase souvenirs and or cups and glasses to add to your own collection. Tastings are great for large groups of people, as they give the message out to group at once, but doing this alone can be a great escape. In time, you might just become a true connoisseur!
Eat Hot Soup
No wonder the Vietnamese soup ‘pho’ has become extremely popular in the Pacific Northwest. The light broth with tasty noodles is a staple in Seattle and surrounding cities. And if the weather is so bad that you don’t want to leave home, you can pull out your own crockpot and try a new recipe or make a tried-and-true favorite soup recipe. Hot soup can fill your home with warm delicious scents and help keep you warm from the inside out.
The busier you are, the less time you’ll spend with Seattle rainy day blues. Consider giving back by volunteering with a local food bank or coaching kids sports in your spare time. Not only can this add enrichment to your life, it can keep you so busy that rainy day blues become a thing of the past. Use your days off to explore new places, and whenever you’re feeling down about the weather, grab my pen and paper and plan your next adventure!
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