Thursday, 21 August 2014

How to Deal with the Scottish Rain

Last year I came to terms with the rain in Scotland. I accepted it for what it is and my life has been completely different since. The rain is a part of Scotland. It isn't going anywhere. But, for a long time I let it dictate my feelings and how I spent my day.

We've been having a lot of rain here in Scotland as of late. It's kind of abrupt moving from summer to autumn here. One day it is sunny and the temps are good and you're spending every day at the park. Then without any warning the temps drop, the leaves start to change and the rain comes. Lots and lots of rain.

My first month in Scotland it rained every single day. I didn't go out and I just watched it rain and rain and rain. It was a complete shock and I didn't know how to live like that.  After years (years!) of practice I'm going to let you know how I do it and how I love it.

+ Check the forecast:: This one may seem like a no brainer but let me explain. I'm an obsessive weather app checker. I plan my week around what's going on with the weather. It helps to know that Tuesday and Wednesday will be clear but the weekend will be rainy. Even though the week will change from one day to the next, you can usually know what's going to happen at least one day in advance. Plan your week around the sunny days.

+ Be prepared. The weather app is never right. Make sure you have a rain coat, umbrella, something.

+ If it is sunny (or not raining) then you get yourself outside. Do not stay indoors. I don't care if you're just going for a walk around the park or to lunch at a cafe by yourself. You just get your butt outside. Have a mound of laundry and a dirty kitchen? I don't care. You get outside. I keep a  list of things I want to do/see when the weather is nice. Do not waste this precious time. Stay out all day! You'll thank me one day.

+ Just because it's grey and cloudy does not mean it isn't a nice day. You can still get outside in that and you will grab yourself some vitamin D while you're at it. It might seem gloomy in the beginning but you'll quickly realize that as long as it isn't pouring down the rain it's a great day!

+ When it is pouring the rain (for days on end) that's when I do my house cleaning and baking. Sebastian and I plan some activities to do indoors and it actually feels nice to be inside because we've spent so much time outdoors lately!

+ If it rains more than 2 days in a row, get outside. Get dressed and get out in the rain. Walk somewhere, anywhere. But do not stay home. When you spend more time inside it makes it harder to leave.  I never let myself have more than 2 days in a row inside. Just make it a rule. You might have to get wet once in awhile but it will be worth it. I promise. I never regret getting outside, even in the rain.

+ What do you do when you are really depressed and you literally can't force yourself out of the house? This is where I would first suggest talking to your doctor. This weather is the pits and when you aren't used to grey skies all the time your body goes through a shock or sorts. You can become depressed and lethargic. First talk to your doctor. Then get outside. Sometimes I have such a hard time trying to just get out the door. I have to call someone (usually my mom) and ask her to stay on the phone with me until I get outside. I force myself. It can feel like pushing a brick wall some days but I put my shoes on, pack a little bag for Sebastian and get him dressed. Sometimes this takes a long time. But I just do it. My Mom is on the other line and we just do it. Even if I am just walking around the block a few times we do it. Staying in is not going to make you feel better. But getting outside for a little bit and smelling the fresh air and seeing a little bit if sunshine (ok, let's just call it light. sunny is too misleading) is going to help you. You're stronger than this.

+ Make plans. Is there someone you've been wanting to get to know? Then ask them to lunch. Is there a place you've been wanting to see? Then plan a time to go and see it. Want to know what is in your neighborhood? Then take a walk. Just do stuff. The more you get out the more you will realize that the weather isn't the problem. It is just another factor in your life here.

+ My best advice on this subject is just to get outside. Do it. Do not wait for the rain to stop and the sun to come out. It isn't going to. But you're going to get more depressed and feel more alone if you stay inside. Just get outside. Push yourself. It might take some time but I know you're going to love this rain as much as I do.

ps. If you ever want to chat about it or need someone to go walking with just let me know!


  1. Great post! I felt like I had adjusted last year, but the change in weather this year made me feel like I needed to adjust all over again. Maybe that is what every year will feel like! We are forced to get out of the house every weekday morning now to get my oldest to school and I am sort of grateful for that. I do try to get out of the house almost every day for the sake of my kids and my sanity, but it sure it tough some days! It is all about changing your frame of mind, that is for sure!

    1. The rain and cooler temps came on fast this year! It's always a shock I think but this year came fast. I think it is going to be a bad winter.

      It is totally tough some days. You have to push yourself. But, I've been there where I didn't push myself and let the rain and grey skies consume me. You just have to think outside the box! Sebastian starts Nursery school next week and that is totally going to push us to get out every day. I'm glad for that!

  2. It did come on fast this year! I am still holding out for that Indian Summer, but my hope is fading fast. We have had to turn our heat on ALREADY in the early morning when we wake and will now even have it on through the night because the kids have been waking cold. I even turned it on yesterday at noon because I was SO COLD! I can't even think about how expensive our bills will be if this winter is colder than last!

    1. my heating bill is always astronomical but I refuse to be cold. I won't do it! I've already been sneaking it on for 15 min here and there. It has to come on at night now. I woke up shivering the other day!

      We will have an Indian Summer. We will. It's going to be grand and we'll soak up the last days before the darkness hit. We need to get together Andrea. Sebastian has afternoon Nursery but I'm sure we can work something out!

  3. We should get together! My oldest is only is school mornings until Sept. 8th when she will go full days. Perhaps planning something for after that would be best as I will be more flexible. Mornings are actually better for me anyway as my youngest still naps in the afternoon.

  4. Hi Mary,
    My husband and I moved to Aberdeen last September so he could start his PhD at the Uni. I have been following your blog for about a year and a half now and love it! This rain post is dead on and so are your packing posts, etc. Thanks for sharing so that all of us moving this way have good insight as to how to prepare and what to expect.
    Hope to see you around!

    1. Thanks for reading Linsey! I'm glad what I'm posting is helping!

      You'll see us around if you look hard enough! We're always out!

  5. Spot on - the weather in Aberdeen can be quite dire - that is one thing I miss from back home actually; proper seasons, winter in the winter, and summer in summer, not this generic scottish weather all year round!

    I'm glad I found your blog, it's good to see your "own" city from someone else's perspective! I shall have a wee nosey around :)


  6. Hey! Just discovered your blog on Twitter - happy I did! I was an expat in Scotland - and am moving back there in two weeks, so it's cool to see fellow expats there as well! I have to say that when I stayed in British Columbia I hated the rain so bad - but it's really not as bad in Scotland as I expected or as people say! My boyfriend is a Scot and when he came to Canada and experience a big rain storm he was baffled because he was never drenched like that ever - it says something :)


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