16 Productive Things to Do on a Rainy Day

16 Productive Things to Do on a Rainy Day.

So your grand plans were foiled by an epic rainstorm, and now you’re stuck inside… all. day. long? Your only option isn’t staying in bed with the latest Netflix movies or YA novels—though those are great ideas. There are plenty of fun and productive things to do on a rainy day without ever leaving the house (or taking off your pajamas). Here, some of the best ways to pass the time.


*Plan your next vacation.

Dreaming of sunnier days? Take a look at your calendar, then get online to start planning your next family vacation. Research suggests this also makes you happier in the long run. In a study published in The Journal of Experimental Psychology, folks planning a vacation reported higher levels of happiness, compared to non-vacationers, due to the anticipation.


*Start a side hustle.

Do you have excellent penmanship? Or maybe you can paint with the best of them? According to a recent survey, turning your favorite hobby into a side hustle can help you earn more than $8,000 per year. That’s not all, though: A side hustle can also provide a creative outlet, help you feel more fulfilled, and even make you more productive at your day job. Here are some sites to check out to get the ball rolling.


*Read a book

Reading a book provides immediate gratification, but it also makes you more open-minded and creative, increases feelings of empathy, reduces stress levels, and may even help you live longer, according to research. Need some inspiration? Check out these buzzy books.


*Do a social media cleanse

Excessive social media use has been linked to depression and anxiety—not something you need any day, let alone an already dreary one. Rather than spend your afternoon mindlessly scrolling, use the time to weed out people you don’t want to see in your feed anymore. Unfollow anyone who causes negative feelings, like FOMO, then resolve to put down your phone for the rest of the day.


*Get your finances in order

Think you could be saving more money each month? You’re probably right! Spend the afternoon unsubscribing from unnecessary services, negotiating new insurance rates, setting up paperless billing, or comparing prescription costs. You’ll be surprised by how much money you can save with just a few hours of work.


*Donate your time

Put your unexpected free time to good use—make a meal for the local senior home, or research other volunteer opportunities in your area. An unexpected perk: Studies suggest people who donate their time feel happier and healthier.


*Connect with an old friend or relative

You may feel like your grandmother gets plenty of updates via social media or your weekly texts have you up-to-date on your college roommate’s life, but there’s nothing like a real conversation. Spend the afternoon checking in on those nearest and dearest to you—via a good old fashioned phone call.


*Tackle small cleaning projects

Cleaning might not be high on anyone’s list, but what better time to do the dreaded task than a rainy day? If you’re not motivated enough to take on the whole house, pick a few spring cleaning chores (like going through that clutter drawer that’s been driving you crazy) then kick back and relax.



Go ahead—indulge a little. Try your hand at a delicious banana bread, healthy brownies, or coconut chocolate chip cookies.


*Take on a DIY project

Maybe you’ve been meaning to paint the guest room for months? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to make a DIY bookshelf? A rainy afternoon is the perfect time to finally cross that project off of your to-do list.


*Play board games

Forget a movie marathon—have a board game tournament instead. Gather all of your favorite games, then cycle through them. Try Scrabble, Rummikub, and Settlers of Catan. Or, go digital with a collaborative Nintendo Switch game (think, Fitness Boxing you can do in your living room, or group trivia). And Heads Up is always a crowd-pleaser.


*Do a puzzle

Nobody to play a game with? Try a puzzle instead. Puzzles provide hours of entertainment, but studies suggest they also improve memory, problem-solving skills, and IQ. What’s more? Puzzles have mood-boosting abilities, too.


*Squeeze in a workout

Missed your morning run? Reach for the remote, but instead of turning on the Law & Order marathon, stream a free at-home workout through YouTube. You can also try a service like Barre 3 to access on-demand barre workouts right from your own living room.


*Start a journal

If the sound of rain drops has you feeling pensive, consider jotting those thoughts down. Experts say journaling reduces stress and feelings of anxiety, plus helps you prioritize, self-reflect, and relax. Don’t feel pressured to write anything particularly ground-breaking—just let your stream of consciousness take over. Or, use the opportunity to create a list of resolutions or craft a bucket list.


*Pamper yourself

What makes you feel good? Is it lounging on the couch with a mud mask or a lip mask on? Is it taking a bubble bath with a glass of wine in hand? You do you—a rainy day is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself.


*Rest and recharge

You know what? You don’t have to do anything on a rainy day. Don’t underestimate the power of simply sitting back and recharging your mind and body—you deserve it.

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