How to Beat Stress Today: By Playing in the Rain

rain

I just wanted to write a quick post to share an experience I had today. This post is very raw. I didn’t edit much. I got inspired and decided to write.

This morning, I got up on the wrong side of the bed. It just didn’t start well. First of all, I slept way past my alarm. I had my mom asking me to play travel agent for her, which I don’t like to play, and just struggled to get the morning started.

After making breakfast, I sat at my computer screen and found myself just wasting time with no goal in mind for the morning.

Not a great way to start.

So I dragged myself out of the house to go for a run. I needed to relieve some stress and exercise.

Even during my run, I had so much on my mind. Stressful and negative thoughts bombarded me and no matter how I tried to not think about it, I couldn’t. No matter how much I tried to block them, they annoyingly stuck around.

I finished my run and walked back home. The clouds had been overcast the whole morning. It was a nice change from the hot Florida mornings. It did sprinkle a bit. I saw dark clouds in the distance. I hoped for some heavy rain because the city could use some. I just hoped it would happen after I got home.

When I started to walk home, about 10 minutes away, it immediately started to pour. Heavy. Big rain drops. I felt like I was standing in my shower. Within minutes there were huge puddles in the street. (Luckily there was no thunder or lightening otherwise I would have rain my ass back home.)

I haven’t been caught outside in a rain storm in so long. And you know what? It felt so damn good. When I realized I’m about to get absolutely soaked as the rain got harder, I smiled. I enjoyed every single second. I walked slower than normal. I could feel my shoes and socks squishing around but I didn’t care. I walked like it was a sunny cool spring afternoon and I just won the lotto. That’s how I felt.

All those thoughts I had in the morning washed away as rain came down on me. Almost with a snap of a finger. I felt no stress anymore. All I could I think about was how great it felt to be in the rain. I loved the feeling of getting absolutely drenched in the rain and not caring.

Cars that drove by may have thought “poor guy caught in the rain” but I couldn’t have been any happier.

I came home and immediately took a hot shower. That rain shower completely changed my day for the better. Since that rain shower, I’ve been in a much better mood. I thought exercise would relieve my stress but it took playing in the rain like a kid again to bring some happiness in my day.

As I write this I keep thinking of this morning and the feeling of being in the rain and hear the rain come down. Parents might say I’m crazy and I’ll get sick but I’ll take the chance because such a simple experience kick started my day. Totally priceless.

 

Have you had an experience like this when you felt like a kid again? 

Has it been awhile since you’ve played in the rain? 

 

I hope you all have a great weekend. You all are the best.

 

Photo by EJP Photo

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  • Great post. Nothing better than a great rain storm to get caught in. I think of two experiences recently. One was taking a walk in the woods behind our neighborhood on the edge of Istanbul and coming across three foxes. Crazy that in three years living in Istanbul, I have now seen more foxes than any other wild animal.

    Another experience was when i was washing the dishes with my wife and we were listeing into an audio book, Through Painted Deserts by Donald Miller and we were just laughing so hard at the story. Afterward, as we wiped away the tears and regained the use of our abs, we reconnected to the idea of fun and laughter. Life sometimes gets tough. Laughter has a way to releive the stress.

    Anyway, keep up the great posts.

    Aaron

    • Benny

      Hi Aaron!

      Foxes? I’ve never seen one. In Florida there aren’t common. Deer are much more common and you’ll see them on the side of the highway at night.

      I love moments when I laugh so uncontrollably hard with my fiance. One time recently was when we were at the mall and I came back from the restroom. She had her cheeks puffed out like she was holding little air bubbles in there. I thought she did so I took my two fingers and squeeze both sides to “pop the bubbles” but I didn’t know inside she had water!!!! She didn’t think I was going to squeeze them. Water shot out at me and of course caught me by surprise. We laughed so hard.

      Those are great moments that we all need more of for sure.

      Thanks so much for sharing Aaron!

  • Benny,
    I’m so glad you wrote this post. for the longest time, i thought i was the only one that like walking in the rain. One of the things i missed the most whenever i’m away from Montreal is the hot summer rain. In fact whenever it rains and it’s warm, i always walk in the rain. I take my kids and we walk together. Galoshes work great because we can splash. we giggle and then go home and just feel fantastic.

    I never put much thought into it, but now i guess it made me feel like a kid. It’s tiring always being responsible and being practical. everyone should let loose and do something just for the hell of it shouldn’t they.
    p.s.
    My mom and my aunt would always tell me i’m going to get sick if i go out in the rain. but i never did. mwooo haaa hahahahaha

    • Benny

      Hey sister from another mother!

      That sounds like so much fun walking around in the rain with your kid. We all need to let loose and have fun by doing crazy things like walking in the rain. 🙂

      Yeah I didn’t get sick from it…at least not yet. I feel fine. See parents aren’t always right. Hahahahaha!

  • Meg

    I love the rain and I live in San Diego so I don’t get to experience it much. I need some kid moments. I used to love to play in the rain. Especially in the summer, the rain that comes in the late afternoon to call off the streets. I also love to play in the snow. The last time I went back home to Colorado my friend and I built a snow fort at 27 years old. We had so much fun building it and playing in it. We felt like we were young kids again…and we laughed so hard the whole time. Great post…. it’s gonna be a great weekend.

    • Benny

      Snow fort sounds so much fun! That must have been a big for to fit in a 27 year old. 🙂 I love playing in the snow. Something about seeing snow instantly brings the kid out of me. I’ll open my mouth to try and catch the snow. I’ll throw it. I’ll kick it. It’s so much fun. Obviously we don’t get snow in Florida so the chances I do get to see it, I always enjoy it.

      Hope your weekend turned out great!

  • Haha it’s funny because actually just today I ran, jumped and even hula hooped in the rain with my daughter. Now along with being fun dad, I made sure to take some moments for introspection. Times like this can truly wash away all the bullshit and noise, thus creating a mental pivot point. And even if just for a short period of time being able to clear the brain can get your mojo going again.

    Glad you took the time to post this one Benny!

    • Benny

      I did notice that day you mentioned playing in the rain. That must have been fun for the both of you! Feeling the rain, hearing it, and seeing it really washed aways all the BS and stress. It was just what I needed.

      Thanks for keeping it real here Jon!

  • That is great! I haven’t done that in a long time but I do occassionally jump in the puddles with my 3 yo. Where in FL are you (I am in WPB)?

    • Benny

      Hey Julie! Puddles are fun too!

      I live in Jacksonville. I’ve never been to WPB beach actually. I might have to visit one day. 🙂

      Hope you had a great weekend!

  • I’m pretty sure it’s been a while since I’m played in the rain. I need to though – and I’ll be on the lookout for clouds every day from now on.

    Sometimes we’ve just got to hang on until those depressive spirits and thoughts leave our minds – and allow us to move on. We’ve just got to hang on, until we get that special chance to play in the rain.

    I think it all comes down to being childlike. Becoming like a child again. Innocent. Sweet. Finding fun in almost anything.

    Keep these type of posts coming. Love them!

    • Benny

      Hey my friend!

      Playing like a child can lift up our spirits. It did for me that day and hope to have more chances to be a kid again. 🙂 I feel like I always have a little of that inside me.

      Hope you had a great weekend!

  • This was a great post. I know how you feel when your day starts off bad and then something you never thought would help ends up turning everything around.
    You could have gotten in an even more pissed off mood when the rain started, but it made you laugh and smile. That says a lot about the kind of person you are!
    Have a great rest of the day!

    • Benny

      Hey Julia!

      If it had rained while I was doing anything else and had to get into a car all soaking wet, then it’d be a different story. Being stuck in the rain came at a perfect time. It felt so nice and changed my day!

      I loved your recent post! So glad to learn more about you.

  • Rain is like a cleansing of the soul.
    I remember running in the rain one time and it felt amazing.
    No worries, no frustrations, just concentrating on running through the rain.

    I’m glad you had a similar experience Benny.

    • Benny

      Thanks Matt. It really cleansed my soul that day. I’m glad I got caught in the rain. Felt really nice. It would have been different if I had to go to work or somewhere else. But since it was after a run and I could come home and shower and change made it really nice.

  • Nice Posts!

  • It’s like bizzaro world over there in Florida. Come chill with me in Oregon and you can run in the rain 9 months out of the year. I get the feeling you had running in sunshine.

    I think the realization of being a kid is where the stress disappeared. Nothing like the pure feelings of simply playing..

    Good to hear your running shoes are getting some work.

    • Benny

      Yeah it’s been a dry spell lately here this summer. Forest fires. Not much rain. Typical Florida for this time of year.

      I’m glad my running shoes are getting work but now they’re drying out…still.

      Hope you had a great birthday yesterday!

  • I can openly admit that I haven’t been stuck in the rain like that in years. I only enjoyed playing in the rain when I was a kid. Once I became an adult, it doesn’t sit well with the hairdo if you know what I mean!

    Since you are on this subject, I really can’t remember the last time I did something like that. Wow, now that’s kind of sad. I also admit it’s been a long time since I woke up on the wrong side of the bed too. That’s a good thing for sure. But whenever I do have some things on my mind that might be worrying me or possibly stressing me out, I play with my dog. It definitely helps and she just makes me feel so much better. When you look into the eyes of a precious innocent dog, my worries just fade away.

    Thanks for reminding me of the days when I was a kid and use to enjoy that type of abandonment. I think I need to get back to being a kid in that respect Benny. Am happy to hear that this did the trick for you. Wouldn’t want to see you remain in a bad mood for very long. You’re too great of a guy to have that held over your head.

    So enjoy the week my friend. I know I will! 🙂

    Adrienne

    • Benny

      Dogs are awesome. They bring an instant smile to our faces no matter what mood we are in.

      I know what you mean about the hairdo! LOL. My hair is buzzed short so I don’t have to worry. I know women would worry more. 🙂

      I’m human so I have good days and bad days. Trying to make more of the great days and less of the bad ones. Thankfully the rain did the trick that day!

      Thanks for sharing an awesome comment Adrienne!

  • Benny – one of the cool things about being a dad is that my kids keep me young. I’m always doing silly stuff with them that takes me back to childhood. In fact, when I get too caught up in the hustle of life – I take a break by trying to be more kid like. To feel that excitement of doing crazy stuff like running in the rain.

    Last Thursday I left the office a little after 4. When I hit the lobby it was packed with people looking out the windows as the streets started to flood with water from a heavy thunderstorm we were having. I had just had a 3 hour conference call and needed to get the heck out of the building…nothing was keeping me there any longer. I needed to get to my car. So, I strapped my bag tight and made a run for it. I was the only person in the street. It was fun – I had to jump over 4-6 foot puddles and dodge cards splashing water onto the side walks…when I got to my car, I was 100% drenched. But I called my wife and said – “That was so fun”. I completely forgot about that crazy conference call. I was brought back to what mattered. It only took a run in the rain.

    • Benny

      Hey JK,

      Your comment made me smile as I read about your running through the parking lot. Glad you got to experience some rain as well to help you forget about that conference call!

      I love playing with kids and whenever I do I feel like I’m a big kid. My fiance’s cousin (almost like a sister to her) has three beautiful girls (2,6,8) and I loved playing with them when I went to Taipei this year. I had never met them and by the second time I met them, they all wanted to play with me. It was like that every weekend we’d see them. I’d do silly things. Play their silly games. By the end of the two months it was sad to leave them. The oldest one made a special card for me before I left. Brought tears to my eyes.

      Thanks for sharing your story JK. I’m glad you got caught in the rain a bit like I did!

  • Hey Benny,
    Feeling young is something that I love staying connected to. My family and I go bowling once a month, go to amusement parks, parades, carnivals and so on.

    I don’t want to grow up, it’s too much fun staying young at heart.

    • Benny

      Hey Justin,

      It’s always fun to be young at heart. I tell people I’m 34 but I really feel like I’m 16 inside sometimes. Just like to have fun. I love theme parks and bowling too. I’m glad to hear you guys get out and have some fun!

      I’ll always feel young at heart too.

      Thanks for sharing with us Justin. Your paranormal story scared me in the day time! 🙂

  • Hi Benny – first time leaving a comment, not first time reading though:-) Happy to hear about your experience and that you just accepted and let loose. I try to do the same myself as well, but have found out that it’s easier to walk/bike in the rain when it’s warm outside, haha. So much for accepting the conditions.

    One time though my girlfriend and I got stuck in Costa Rica. We were housesitting and it rained heavily for 14 days in a row. Everything was damp, phone, internet and alarm system was cut off and we felt down and overpowered by nature. One of the days I thought: “f… this, I’m gonna get naked and jump in the pool, I won’t let nature keep me trapped indoor like this”.

    I jumped in and my girlfriend followed suit. It felt so amazing! It was a short relief, but the feeling of freedom was very cool!

    I wish you more rainy days! – Jannick

    • Benny

      Thanks so much for being a reader here and your first comment!

      I laughed when I read that you jumped into the pool. That must have been a lot of fun. That’s a lot of rain! 14 days in a row can definitely be frustrating. We could use more rain here but not 14 days.

      I wish for more rainy days too when I just finish running. It’s the best time for it!

      Thanks so much for commenting and do comment more often. I really enjoyed your story!

  • One thing I love to do is to play in the rain inside water. Yes, I know it is childish but is so much fun and so freeing. Whenever it starts raining and I know I have a beach or a poll near I just run there and jump the water, it is so cool!

    • Benny

      It is so much fun! Too often when it rains we hurry up and get inside but feeling like a child sometimes is definitely so much fun.

      Thanks for reading Hugo!

  • I remember the last time I played in the rain. Well, I wouldn’t say that I was playing, but I got caught in the rain and got soaked. It was in Costa Rica and I was out seeing the sights. The rain started pouring as I was heading back to my hostel. I had no umbrella and it was too short a distance to take a taxi. So I just walked as quickly as possible. I was soaked, but it was still fun. It did bring me back to a time when I was a kid again. I loved playing out in the rain so much. Good times.

    • Benny

      I know many people don’t intentionally go out in the rain and get soaked but get caught in the rain like you and I did. At first it may seem like a bad situation but actually it’s refreshing. Now if I had my iPhone in my pocket and other things, getting soaked wouldn’t have been much fun. 🙂

  • I love getting caught in the rain! What a wonderful blessing. Just last week it started lightly raining as I rode my scooter home from work and I grinned the entire ride home. At a stop light I lifted the visor on my helmet, lifted my face to the sky and let the raindrops fall on my face.

    When I get stuck in a bad mood, any experience that brings me back to the present can shake me out of my negative mood.

    When I’m feeling down I like to go for a walk and open my senses to the world- the feeling of the earth under my feet with each step, the smell of sunlight and trees, the sound of birds and squirrels.

    I didn’t enjoy a carefree or happy childhood, and in my adulthood I take advantage of every opportunity to simply enjoy the moment and be free of stress and responsibilities.

    • Hey Chrysta!

      You ride a scooter to and from work? So cool! I have a scooter still from college and I loved riding it college and still now. I just ride it to short distances here.

      Sounds like you have great ways to lift up your spirits and to release some stress. Seems like when you go on that walk you really enjoy the moment with all your senses. That’s amazing.

      The rain is amazing. I’m glad you find the gift when getting caught in the rain. 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing with us Chrysta!

      • Hi Benny,

        Yes, I ride my scooter to work almost every day. In fact, I ride it as much as possible. Riding on 2 wheels is a zen experience every day and I feel more connected to everyone and everything around me.

        Not only do I experience my senses more acutely than I do in a climate-controlled, enclosed 4 wheel vehicle, I am more aware of my life and how fragile it is. Interacting with the world around me becomes more important for my basic safety and I’m being very mindful when I ride.

        I love riding so much, I even wrote a blog entry relating riding to career success. It was a fun post to write! http://www.liveandlovework.com/2011/07/01/how-to-have-career-success/

        Have a great day, Benny! Thanks for your inspiration.

        • I think that’s why so many people love riding motorcycles and will go on long road trips. It’s the feeling of being on the road that you can’t get inside a car.

          Going to read that post now! Thanks for answering me back Chrysta!

  • Hi, Benny

    Yes, sometimes things get overwhelming, and I just want to crawl back into bed. The feeling of being carefree (like a child); now, that’s an awesome feeling! It makes everything okay even when life gets stressful.

    I should learn to enjoy the rain more (when there’s no lightning of course). I haven’t done that in a while. Great idea. Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference in the world.

    A time when I felt like a kid again happened with a simple smell. Yes, something reminded me of my mother’s home-cooked meal. It brought back great memories, fun times and togetherness.

    Thanks for the post, Benny.

    • Hey Allyson!

      Great to see you here. I hope you’ve been doing well.

      Aaaahhh..the smell of mom’s home cooking. That sure does bring back many memories for sure. Sometimes we just need to be more like kids. Last week I went to Target and just wandered around the back to school shopping section. I didn’t buy anything. Just brought a smile to my face because I used to love back to school shopping. We should find more simple things like that to enjoy.

      I love the rain. I love the sound of the rain when I’m inside. The best is when I take a nap or go to sleep at night. I bet you feel the same way. Next time it’s raining and you have a chance to go get soaked, try it!! You’ll love the smell of the rain and the sound. It wiped away all my stress and reenergized me.

      Thanks for sharing Allyson! I feel like some home cooking now.