Ah, the Great British summer, how reliable she is. Just when you thought it was safe to go outside (it is June after all), the heavens open once again, the forecast shows 50 shades of grey skies and the prospect of plenty of time spent indoors beckons. Yep, it’s rain, rain, rain from here on in. That doesn’t mean that those hours whiled away at home keeping dry need to be unproductive. Nope, while the temptation is certainly there to do nothing in protest against the unsavoury, unsettled conditions outside, there are plenty of things you could be getting on with, some productive and some just downright fun. These are those; our 7 IDEAL indoor activities to occupy your rainy day.

HAVE YOUR FRIENDS ROUND

That sound of rain lashing against the window rarely puts people in a good mood, but could this weather really brings us down? The answer, quite simply, is yes. Unless you’re the type to go frolicking in puddles, then rain is likely to negatively affect our social life, and can leave us feeling isolated and downbeat. If it’s raining heavily and consistently, we’re more inclined to cancel plans to physically meet our friends and family, or have them cancel on us. Human contact is fundamental to our mental well-being, so embrace the chance to do nothing with the people you love. As long as you can find some who’ll brave the rain to come visit you, that is.

CROSSWORD CRUNCHING

Crosswords come in all shapes and sizes, from easy to difficult, slow to quick and clear to cryptic. What they all have in common, though, is their ability to keep the mind fresh and focused, by extending our logistical and literacy skills. Perfect, then, for a rainy, bleak day. They can also teach us new terms – an added bonus – which you can deploy the next day in the office to much adulation from peers at your new found eloquence. We’ve found the most reward comes from sticking to one, daily, as it’s easy to lose focus and move on to a new crossword if the answers don’t immediately become obvious. Patience and perseverance are key, which is fine when the weather permits you from doing little else.

PODCAST

‘The Podcast Hug’ is a term coined by one of our favourites in the field. It refers to that warm, introspective, undisturbed space created by listening to a good podcast and doing little else; no interruptions from emails, deadlines or disputes. When life often brings with it multiple distractions and the near constant expectation to multitask, simply devoting a small part of your day to listening can be a near meditative experience. When the rain is lashing down, you have the perfect excuse to get immersed. Some of favourites in the soothing yet informative field? The aforementioned Blindboy, simply the best out there, as well as the Adam Buxton podcast, Guardian Long Reads and the excellent Dissect Podcast, which dives deep into some of the best recent, contemporary albums with a fine comb. Lovely stuff.

CHESS WITH FRIENDS

Or enemies or strangers, for that matter. Prefer to unleash the King’s Gambit or lean more heavily on the Sicilian Defence Dragon’s Variation? If you’re flummoxed by this obscure terminology, it might be time to sharpen up those chess skills. Not only is the great black-and-white board game good for logical thinking, planning skills and foresight, it’s also super relaxing and peaceful. Seeing as you’re confined to your four walls for the day, your board will be online, and your opponents strangers from across the globe (or friends if you can persuade them to sign up to the same app and dedicate a large portion of their day to a game). We’ve found our preferred app in a pretty crowded field is Chess With Friends, as the chat feature offers easy interaction with your competitor, if that’s your thing.

GET INTO GAMING

While we’re talking about interactive games, there are many more out there. If football is your thing, you could try your hand at FIFA 19 (which was recently released) and pick up a controller to right the wrongs of the World Cup. Or, should fantasy be more your thing, we’ve heard Fortnite’s getting pretty big right now. Should you fancy a little more escapism, you can now find a number of top UK live dealer casinos online, sure to distract you from the apocalyptic conditions outside. There are no stakes options available so you don’t have to dip into your purse to play. And remember, when the fun stops, stop.

BAKING

With The Great British Bake Off seemingly on an endless repeat reel on the tele, you’ve probably by now been inspired to buy some liquid glucose, piping bags and other bits’n’bobs which now lay dormant in your cupboard. Well, now is the ideal time to blow the dust (or self raising flour) off them and have a crack at some baking. With temperatures outside unpredictable, budding or experienced bakers alike can turn up the heat in the kitchen and create that warm indoor hug as respite from the rain.

PUT YOURSELF FIRST

There is perhaps no better, more healthy way to embrace a bit of downtime indoors than through meditation. Never has simply sitting there doing very little been so beneficial to your state of mind, with new research consistently championing its positive impact on our lives. There are apps to guide you through getting started and familiar with some simple mindful meditations, two of the best being Headspace and Calm, though others are of course available. Once you’ve practiced a few times, you’ll find its simple, thoughtful applications useful in other walks of life. Wonderful stuff.

 

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.