You’ve probably heard this old saying each time it rains in April. What you might not have realized is how this sentence can be applied to you beyond the seasonal weather.
April Showers Bring May Flowers; How to Find Joy in the Rain
While the rainfall in April does make way for a green and flowery May, the concept that rainbows come after rain also pertains to your daily life. Even after the most unpleasant of storms, you can still find joy in the rain. Here’s how:
Make Time For What You Enjoy
It’s so easy to get caught in the rat race. Your life gets consumed by work, bills, and other heavy responsibilities. How do you find joy in that downpour? By making sure you always dedicate some time to what you enjoy.
The list of extracurricular activities you can add to your Calendar is endless. Take a bike ride, spend some time doodling, or practice your photography. Everything you do doesn’t have to be extremely productive either. There’s nothing wrong with unwinding with a Netflix special or video game as long as you keep it in control. Even a short nap can be useful after a series of long shifts has got you down in the dumps.
On the gloomiest of days, it can be a challenge to identify an activity you truly enjoy. This is the perfect opportunity to try something new, especially when old hobbies no longer have the same appeal. Try your hand at a puzzle, take up knitting, or give bird watching a try. Cycle through enough activities and you just might find your newest passion in life.
Track Your Progress
Even if you feel like you’re going nowhere, you’re making progress in life. Sometimes all it takes is some old-fashioned record keeping to help you realize just how far you’ve come. Your Calendar will come in handy when it comes to tracking your progress.
With your Calendar, document all the things you do each day, from tasks you complete at work to responsibilities you cover at home. Complement this digital record with a journal where you make notes about what you accomplished that day. Look for ways to measure your progress, such as performance metrics or tallies leading up to a personal goal.
While you have that journal out, a great way to see the silver lining in the April rainclouds is to write something that made you happy each day. Some days you might not have much to write down, and that’s OK. The exercise itself will get you to look on the bright side more often, switching your mindset to a more positive one over time.
Cut yourself some slack. You’re not going to cure cancer overnight or hike Mount Everest after a week of training. You don’t have to accomplish something of this magnitude to find a reason to celebrate. Take the time to talk yourself up even after the smallest of victories and you’ll find yourself with a smile more often than not.
Did you close a sale after a week-long drought at work? Pat yourself on the back. Were you finally able to fit in some morning exercise after your New Year’s resolution fell flat? Give yourself the kudos you deserve!
Humans respond incredibly well to incentives and rewards. Utilize them to your advantage and you’ll find joy even throughout the drudgery of everyday life. If the month of April is your Kryptonite, for example, promise yourself a weekend away for some pampering in May to keep you going.
Give a Little
You’ll be amazed at what a little service can do to your attitude on a rainy day. For starters, you’ll be reminded that you’re not the only one caught in a storm. Recognizing that others are going through hard times isn’t meant to downplay your own struggles, but you to look outside of yourself for the benefit of another.
A recently published study surveyed over 70,000 people in the UK looking for correlations between volunteer work and mental health. Researchers found that people who volunteered recently reported being more satisfied with their lives and their mental health when compared to those who didn’t. This is a powerful example of how simple service can make a big difference not only in your community but in yourself as well.
Service projects can be both big and small. Pick up garbage off the side of the road that runs by your house, offer to mow your neighbor’s lawn for free, or connect with a local charity to participate in one of their events. No matter what you do, you’ll feel yourself feeling warm and fuzzy inside as you put a smile on someone else’s face.
Add Some Color
Rainstorms are notorious for their black clouds and dreary outlook. Even if you love a good thunderstorm, enough dark skies can make for a bummed-out attitude. When it feels like you’re surrounded by darkness, a little color can go a long way.
Just ask any front-line worker at the peak of COVID-19 how they made it through. For many of them, something as small as a colorful pin that reminded them of their family or another happy memory was just the motivation they needed to complete another 12-hour shift. Look for ways to add color to your own life, with decorations for your home, office, or car, as well as any other highlights that will keep you upbeat.
Rain doesn’t last forever. How you compose yourself during the rain enables you to enjoy the sunshine that comes next. Don’t get caught waiting for the next storm to take cover, live your life to the fullest come what may.
Image Credit: matthias zomer; pexels; thank you!
Student at UC Berkeley, currently working on a degree in Electrical Engineering/Computer Sciences and Business Administration. Experienced in CSX, productivity management, and chatbot implementation.