Grey skies and rainy days were things I did not recognize as a potential flaw about Munich before moving. As a previous resident of Boston, I think of myself as tough and invincible to all weather patterns. Yet unfortunately, I am not invincible. In addition to the early darkness, the rain on top of icy sloppy snow keeps Munich residents off their bikes and under their umbrellas and hoods. It seems to bring the energy down among us all. We are putting all our energy into protecting ourselves from the cold and the rain.
I once read an L.L. Bean commercial that read something along the lines of, “If you’re feeling cold, you’re not dressed properly.” I also recently learned that when you’re feeling cold, although it’s counter-intuitive, it’s actually more effective to relax as much as possible, not to tense up. Both of these ideas point to the fact that we don’t have the right attitude towards “bad” weather. Maybe the children splashing in puddles with funky and colorful umbrellas have the right idea. We don’t need to protect ourselves from it (we must admit we have heat and thermal clothes). It feels much better to embrace it. Have you ever gone running or played a soccer match in the rain? It feels liberating because you’re not living like you’re afraid of something!
And even if you do choose to stay inside and be grumpy next time it’s drizzly and dreary, there is another way of choosing looking at the situation. For example, when I got the flu in college and had to stay in bed several days, I realized this was my body telling me something. I had been going from class, to work, to practice, to the library and staying up late. So this was my body telling me to rest and take care of myself. You can see the rain as an invitation for a nap, a chance to curl up with a book and a hot chocolate, or an opportunity to get some work done. Then on sunny days you can go outside for a walk and not feel guilty that you’re inside stuck working. It’s funny how we give ourselves a hard time no matter what the situation is, isn’t it? It takes a lot of energy to be our own self-critic, full-time.
Think about this on your next rainy day. Literally or metaphorically. Try embracing it. Leave a reply below to let me know how it works out for you!