I created an exercise sheet to help you with your rainy days. Find out more by reading my blog post below!
Whether it is actually raining, or metaphorically raining, we all have rainy days. When I say rainy days, I mean those days that just simply don’t feel so great. The days where the negative self-talk creeps up and you’re feeling self-doubt. It’s those days where you’re just flat out feeling negative, sad, depressed, moody, angry or all of the above. When you’re feeling this way, I do think it’s important to sit with it and feel what you need to. I’m not one of those people that’s like, “oh cheer up! Be positive! Get over it!” As much as some people wish it was, it’s not that easy. Sitting with your feelings and acknowledging them is important because ignoring them does not make it go away. It can actually feel worse and create more painful emotions when you ignore them, judge them or dismiss them. So remember that when you do feel this way, to try and notice your emotions and what they feel like, and even where you feel it (where do you experience it in your body?). Validate and accept the emotions and feelings, but try not to accept the negative thoughts behind them if they happen to be false beliefs or just simply untrue limiting beliefs! At the end of the day, sometimes you just have to let the rain pour and pass (I know, that sounds like a weird drinking game) and feel what you need to until the storm is over. I’m going to write a whole other blog post on limiting and false beliefs soon, but for today, we’re going to chat about what else you can do on your rainy days once you’ve acknowledged and validated your feelings.
We’re going to start off with an exercise. I’m calling it: Your Rainy Day Umbrella. In my free worksheets section, please print out the (or draw your own!) Rainy Day Umbrella worksheet. The idea behind all of this is that, when it rains, we tend to grab an umbrella to shield ourselves from the rain. So, metaphorically speaking, what makes up YOUR personal umbrella when you’re having a rainy day? I invite you to really think of things that help boost your mood and think of activities you love to do that always help you when you’re not in the best place. I encourage you to get creative with this, feel all of the gratitude that comes up for you and visualize this personal comfort you and shield you from the rain. It’s important to remember that this isn’t an exercise to help you forget about the rain falling down beside you and beading off your umbrella. It’s an exercise to help remind you of what you enjoy, what you are grateful for and what helps you when these rainy days pop up for you. It’s okay to sit in the rain and it’s okay to feel whatever you need to. These are ideas you can keep in your back pocket. You can take a picture of your worksheet or post it on a vision board to serve as a reminder of all the great things you love to do that help your mood on a rainy day.
I’m going to provide you with some of my favourite things that make up my personal rainy day umbrella. Maybe they will inspire you for your umbrella, too!
Panel 1: Call a Friend/Family/Loved One
Whenever I am feeling low, I love to chat it out. When my friends, family and loved ones hold space for me to talk about what I’m going through, I end up feeling heard, valued and validated. I think that making a human connection can be really heart-warming during a time you’re not feeling so well. It’s also important to remember that you may need to return the favour in the future, too. So how does one hold space? Let your friend or loved one speak. Allow them the time they need, paraphrase what they are saying or ask questions to ensure you’re hearing them correctly, and validate them by using empathy. The power of holding space and actively listening is huge. Listen to actually listen and hear what your loved one is saying – don’t just listen to respond.
Panel 2: Movement
Anything that moves or exercises my body is exactly the thing I love to do when I feel low. Going for a walk or run outside, dancing alone to my favourite songs, boxing or bike riding. Something that brings endorphins out and gets my spirits up is an amazing thing and helps me big time for my rainy days.
Panel 3: Meditation
I have been loving meditation lately, so it’s no surprise this made it on my personal umbrella. Meditation helps me reduce the noise that’s going on in my mind and allows me the time and space to focus on my breath. I sometimes even just count my breaths to really get into the mindset. Meditation has SO many benefits, so yep, this is on my umbrella! Meditation classes are a great way to get started, if it’s something you are interested in trying out. One of my favourite places in the city of Toronto for guided meditations is Mindset Brain Gym! An amazingly warm and positive place to check out for sure.
Panel 4: Volunteer
Giving back to the community and doing something for someone else is an amazing way to help shield me from my rainy days. Focusing on a charity or a cause can help boost your spirits big time. Also… here is a fun tip if volunteering is something on your list: why not incorporate a double whammy here and try volunteering for an animal shelter? Animals are just an added bonus for boosting your mood!
Panel 5: Taking Myself on a Date
One of my all-time favourite things to do is to take myself out on a date. Especially, going to the movies. Not only do you NOT have to share your popcorn (and you get to pick the movie you want to see), but you take yourself out of your comfort zone and also get to understand yourself better. Taking yourself out on dates really helps your self-love increase, too!
Panel 6: Gratitude Journal
Practicing gratitude is such a wonderful thing to do. You really start to exercise the gratitude muscle and keep it strong when you do it every day, morning and/or night. You also end up getting to have almost like a reservoir of gratitude that you can pull from whenever you’re feeling a dip in your mood or energy levels.
So, what will your umbrella be comprised of? I would love to hear what wonderful ideas you come up with! Make sure to follow me on Instagram @kd.lifecoaching and mention in the comments of the post to let me know how you found this exercise! Hope you enjoyed the exercise and found it helpful :-)