Today is a rare rainy day in Austin. It’s cloudy and overcast. The light is dim and the world is grey. Some people find this weather disheartening but it has the exact opposite effect on me. Since rain is so infrequent here I cherish these days when they come around. I feel restored by the rain, which is especially important since I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress and burn out recently.
This grey day is just what the doctor ordered for me. I went to bed at 10:30 last night and slept really well. The rain started around 2am and we all know people sleep better when it rains. This morning my alarm went off at 7:30 but I very luxuriously rolled around in bed until 8. I was enjoying the darkness of my room, the wetness of the world outside and the slow start to a slow-feeling day.
The air smells like rain. What a magical thing our world does. The smell or sound or sight of rain is an instant soother for me. I relax in a way that I just don’t when the sun is shining. I know that’s the opposite for most people but god, I love me a rainy day.
I made myself a delicious breakfast this morning of whole wheat toast with spinach and a fried egg, and a French press cup of black coffee. (I even grind my own beans these days!) I sat, alone in my house, and ate in silence, with the wet world outside. It was perfect.
It’s very important for me to get time alone to recharge. My most important self care need is downtime. That almost never happens though and for the last few months I’ve been living in a state of semi-permanent stress. I live with three other people, two of whom also work from home for the majority of the week. Three of us have partners who are in and out of the house all the time. I work two jobs that require attentive interaction with people.
Often I feel drained from a day at work and come home to a house of people who want to engage socially. Even my work outs have been social recently since one roommate has joined my evening walks and another has started running with me. That’s lovely, but I need to be able to turn off sometimes. I’ve been missing that. This morning felt like a gift from the world. The world outside is less busy than usual as people hide inside from the rain. The cloudy day doesn’t feel urgent in any way. Being home alone this morning just added to my overall feeling of calm isolation. It’s exactly what I need before I go to volunteer this morning, followed by two consecutive nights of catering and a weekend trip to Houston to visit a friend.
So today, whether or not it’s rainy in your neck of the woods, try and take some time for yourself to recharge. Give yourself whatever you need- some exercise, some alone time, something sweet. I know it’s difficult but try and find the brief time where you can focus on yourself and attend to your own needs. It’s so worth it.
Kara Perez is the original founder of From Frugal To Free. She is a money expert, speaker and founder of Bravely Go, a feminist financial education company. Her work has been featured on NPR, Business Insider, Forbes, and Elite Daily.