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Turn that rainy frown upside-down

Five ways to get happy and dance in the PNW rain

Debbie Milhorn embracing happiness in the PNW rain. Photo credit: Gwyn Nielsen

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"Rain, Rain, go away! Come again another day!" During the long PNW rainy season, you can bet that day will be tomorrow. There are many quotes about the rain we can recite, but they never stop the feeling of dread when you wake up to it day after day.

There seems to be a consensus regarding how we should feel about the rain. What if we took the incredibly wise words of country singer Luke Bryan to heart? "Rain is a Good Thing." We do, after all, live in one of the most beautiful areas of the USA. Here are a few tips to help you turn that rainy day frown upside-down and learn to dance in the rain.

1. Seek out light! Less daylight and the cover of rain clouds can be dreary, but it isn't completely dark all day. Make an effort to go outside. Take a walk or a hike and admire how the rain paints your surroundings in deeper shades. Take breaks during the day. Step outside, open your arms to the sky, and gaze up into the gorgeous trees, while taking in long deep breaths.

Another option is to incorporate more light inside your home. Replace bulbs that produce yellow light for bulbs that produce white light. Add decorative lamps to rooms you spend the most time in. Replace thick lampshades with thinner ones. Add a cozy vibe by repurposing holiday lights by hanging them around your home.

2. Challenge yourself. Setting challenging, yet achievable goals for yourself can lead to a positive change when it comes to rainy day blues. What is one thing you have always wanted to do but never have the time? Now is the time. Cook your way through a cookbook, train for a marathon, or learn to use Photoshop and set up a photography challenge for yourself. Redecorate a room, write a novel, or print your favorite photos and finally get that scrapbook done. Set some goals and get to it!

3. Plan something and execute. Planning something with a quick execution will get your mind off the rain. Does your budget allow for a weekend trip this season? Go somewhere warmer. Plan a party -- perhaps a movie night, a potluck, or a clothing exchange party. Are you moving in the near future? Start a notebook and plan how you will decorate your new space.

4. Good Scents. Aroma-therapy is a quick way to change your mood within minutes. Buy a favorite candle or essential oils for a diffuser. Try a stove simmer with apples and cinnamon sticks or bake bread or cookies.

5. Embrace the Rain. Focusing on the negative is easy. It takes effort to notice and embrace the things you love about this season and this beautiful area. Practice mental mantras when you feel the blues headed your way. For example, "I get to wear fun rain boots today. I can't wait to walk through a puddle and watch the water dance around my feet." Think about it, what do you love about the rain that you can embrace?

Yes, we have to deal with the endless rain, but of course, the rain always comes to an end. The majestic Mount Rainier will make a grand appearance laden with snow, birds will sing, tulips and lavender will bloom, and the sun will shine bright adding a twinkle to our eyes. In the meantime, TURN THAT RAINY DAY FROWN UPSIDE DOWN! GET HAPPY! ... AND DANCE IN THE RAIN. 

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