Tips and tricks for when you can’t get outside

Spring is just around the corner, but if we’re being honest, that means that there are plenty more rainy days ahead. Although this is something we’re all used to, sometimes we just can’t deal.

For the days we can’t handle the heavy rain boots or the struggle of carrying a huge umbrella, it helps to know that we have other options. Here are a few tips to keep you happy and healthy for when you can’t get outside:

Keep your vitamin D in check

As natives of the Pacific Northwest, our chances of vitamin D deficiency are pretty high, and this winter has been one of the worst seasons ever: If it wasn’t snow, it was ice. If it wasn’t ice, it was hail. If it wasn’t hail, it was pouring rain. There has been little room for a decent amount of sunshine this winter, and if there was, it only lasted for a short period of time.

Sadly, we are still experiencing this extremely gloomy weather, and as a result we are not able to receive the sufficient amount of vitamin D that our bodies need. When we are exposed to sunlight our bodies naturally produce vitamin D. With a good amount of vitamin D our bodies are able to absorb calcium, thus ensuring the growth and preservation of healthy bones. Since we cannot rely on the sun these days, the best option for us to receive vitamin D would be through nourishment such as fish, dairy products and orange juice. Another great option would be to start taking daily vitamin D supplements.

Avoid depression

We all know that the dark, gloomy days along with cold, biting weather make it easy to fall into the trap of depression. For some people, depression is tolerable. If you’re one of those people who gets bummed out because of the weather, you’ll want to shake those winter blues by focusing on the things that make you happy. If you’re a hardcore Netflix binge-watcher, use the time indoors to catch up on the television shows you’ve always wanted to watch. If you’re a bookworm and have a book that you’ve been wanting to read, get rid of the despondency by indulging in a good read.

However, if your depression is serious and deep, it is good to know that there is hope and help for you. Treatment like psychotherapy and some medication can help. It is imperative to gather up the strength to reach out for help, as depression can lead to permanent damage in your work, education and relationships.

Be productive

There are many things you can do when you can’t go outside. For instance, why not use the time indoors to actually do the cleaning you’ve been meaning to do for months? Wash your bed sheets. Get rid of the clothes you don’t wear anymore. Clean your bathroom. You’ll feel so much better about having to stay indoors if your place is tidy and fresh.

If you have a ton of homework, get to it! Imagine having all your homework and papers completed by the time the weather decides to be nice. You’ll get to go outside, have some fun and make the most of your day without having to feel guilty or stressed about a load of assignments waiting for you at home. The goal here is to keep your mind occupied as much as possible so that time will pass quickly.

Work on your inner chef

Remember when you promised yourself to start eating home-cooked meals instead of instant ramen, take-out and microwavable pizza? Take advantage of the ugly weather and use it to practice your cooking skills. If you’re on Facebook or Instagram, Tastemade offers fast and simple recipes and tutorials that are fun to try out. If you’re feeling inspired, gather up your favorite soup recipes and experiment. Your homemade soup could cheer up your loved ones and maybe even get you a hot date. Before you know it, you’ll be warming up people from the inside out.

If there’s one thing we know for sure about Portland, it is that we never really know what the weather’s going to be like. What we do know is that no matter what season it is, rain itself is a native and will always be around to either drown us or cleanse us. During the days that it drowns us, these tips can help get us through the misery.