In the hot summer, it’s normal to wish for a rain cloud to cool off. There’s also a certain calm feeling that comes with cuddling up by a window to watch raindrops fall and hear the thunder. While it sometimes rains on our parades, it can be nice for it to rain on a random Tuesday. Rain therapy is an underrated form of self-care that more people should participate in, and I’m here to tell you why.
Taking a walk in the rain is an incredibly relaxing activity. Since most people choose to stay inside while it rains, there are far fewer people outside to interrupt your zen as you stroll around a park or your neighborhood. It gets you away from your workspace to clear your mind and enjoy your own company. If you’ve been meaning to catch up with someone, having them join you in the downpour can improve both of your moods. If that’s not convincing enough, studies show that exercising in cold, rainy conditions can improve one’s energy metabolism.
The smell of rain was named petrichor in the 1960s by two Australian scientists and has a calming effect. The smell is due to the mixture of chemicals that plants release during dry periods. Bacteria live in soil as well as ozone created from nitric oxide that is produced as a result of oxygen and nitrogen molecules splitting when lightning strikes.
Additionally, taking deep breaths while it’s raining feels incredible because the air is cleaner during and after it rains. Effectively rinsing out the atmosphere, raindrops attract pollutants such as bacteria, dander and sulfates as they make their way to the ground, according to a study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
You might wonder why you would spend time in the rain if you’ve heard the long-held myth that the practice can get you sick. Colder temperatures can weaken one’s immune system, and rainwater can agitate bacteria on the ground and put them into the air, but as long as you’re healthy, there is a low health risk to being in the rain. In fact, exposure to some bacteria can strengthen the endurance of one’s immune system.
There are plenty of additional benefits to spending time in the rain, such as healthy skin and time for reflection, and more can be found with a quick Google search. Overall, I can’t stress enough how much I recommend taking a moment to at least stand in a covered outdoor space while it rains. It’s an excellent way to center yourself by closing your eyes and focusing on the sound and smell of the rain, even more so if you’re standing in it. Your senses are taken over by the dark clouds, the feel of raindrops, the petrichor smell and the sound of thunder and/or rain hitting the ground. It’s a free way to partake in nature’s therapy and soak up all of its benefits like a sponge.
Tate Raub is a junior studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Tate know by tweeting her @tatertot1310.