As a Portland native, I’ve spent 21 years dealing with all the rain and, honestly, it doesn’t really bug me. Here are some tips for preparing, both mentally and physically, for the torrential downpour.
1) Invest in shoes that keep your feet dry
You can deal with your hair getting a little wet, but there is nothing worst than accidentally stepping in a a giant puddle on your way to school and then sitting through all your classes with wet feet. Seriously, if you are only going to buy one piece of rain gear, get this.
2) Identify things you carry with you that cannot get wet and protect them
Do you carry a laptop to class everyday? Turning in a super important paper? Find a way to keep them safe. Waterproof bags are nice, but the bookstore also sells plastic folders which are much cheaper. In a pinch, just use a garbage bag. You will feel a lot better knowing these vital things are safe.
3) Embrace coziness
I’ve always liked the rain in Portland because it has had a huge impact our ridiculous number of coffee shops. People like to get together in small bright spaces and drink warm things. Just embrace this. Carry coffee with you. Sit in the Paradox and watch the rain. Realize that the weather gives you something to complain about with that cute kid at the bus stop.
4) Stop planning events outside
If you just don’t plan BBQs and picnics in February you can stop being disappointed when you have to cancel them. That being said, rain doesn’t always mean you can’t go outside. You can still go for walks, play sports, and go out to events in the neighborhood, just be prepared and go home and shower afterward.
5) You can have an umbrella
You may have heard that having an umbrella in Portland is considered unacceptable by the locals but I’m giving you permission to have one. Just don’t take it too seriously. If you are going to carry one, don’t also wear a raincoat and rain boots and a hat and rain pants. Personally, I carry a pink polka-dot umbrella and wear a sweatshirt. Umbrella are effective, use one if you want.
6) Remember your vitamin D
Take a supplement or visit a gym with a sun room. You can even invest in your own lamps that will give you your vitamin D boost but this has always seemed like overkill to me. However, approximately 98% of Portlanders do not get enough vitamin D (I just made up this statistic but I bet it’s pretty close to true) so please pay attention, you’ll feel better.
7) Get some exercise
We have a gym. Use it. I know some people find running on a treadmill tedious compared to the outdoors but getting some physical activity in will make you feel much better. You can, of course, run outside in the rain but personally I’m not that motivated so going to my inside yoga class twice a week is a better option.
8) Remember that it’s just water
Seriously people, it won’t hurt you. You will be fine. The worst thing that will happen is you will be wet for a while. Stop panicking.