How to Have Fun: 6 Stress Relievers You Need to Know
Can you recall the last time you laughed, played or actually escaped from daily boredom and really enjoyed your life? Do you plan activities that bring you joy and laughter and bring delight with your family or friends? You may have lost sight of one particular priority – the priority to have fun!
The frantic pace of modern life has made genuine relationships and the experience of pure fun a rarity, especially in our current COVID-19 environment. We often become lost in our new routines of caring for others, managing our homes and juggling every other request that comes our way. And without the balance of the simple pleasures of life, stress can take over your life.
Some common belief barriers to having fun include:
- It’s selfish to indulge in fun things.
- I feel guilty if I am doing nothing or relaxing.
- I don’t have time for fun.
- One must be serious about life to survive.
- It will take away from family time if I have any individual fun.
Making time for fun adds many benefits, including:
- Enlivens your spirit and attitude
- Connects people and is contagious
- Enhances all relationships
- Improves health and reduces the dangers of stress on your body, mind, and spirit
- Promotes creativity
6 simple stress relievers you can enjoy today!
1. Be Funny
- Laughter adds life ~ Research has shown the health benefits of laughter, ranging from strengthening the immune system to increasing one’s threshold for pain. Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones and increases the level of health-enhancing hormones. It also provides a physical and emotional release, and is, of course, contagious! When you bring more laughter into your life, you bring it into the lives of those around you.
- Humor heals ~ Humor is a universal language; everyone can relate to funny stories. Initiate humor in your life – watch a funny TV show or movie or listen to others (on TV or radio) who make you laugh.
2. Form Friendships
- Connect ~ There are few experiences in life that rival the satisfaction and pleasure of friendships. Choose friends who inspire and enliven you and connect with them over a virtual cup of coffee, or take your dogs for a walk together. It doesn’t take long to feel the power of connection with a good friend, or even a new friend. Relationships reduce stress by enriching our perspective and encouraging us to be our best.
- Catch up ~ You can also try reconnecting and catching up with an old friend! Sometimes friendships end up taking the backseat due to the time and effort they require, but the rewards are immeasurable. Remember the joy and laughter you once shared. Do not let these personal connections fade. A simple note or phone call could be a big boost for both of you!
3. Be with Family
- Change activities ~ Add some variety to your routine. We often go through the motions of the family schedule, and we lose connection with those we are closest to. Pick one day this week to do something totally new that’s both enjoyable and challenging. Select a playful task that includes all family members, and do something that you would typically not do. Even if you stumble along the way, laugh at yourself in the process.
- Creative cooking ~ Let food be fun! Eating is something all families do. Clear the countertops, print off some recipes you watched on TV or dust one of those cookbooks off the shelf. Make a family dinner together, where everyone plays a part. Enjoy the process of contributing to a final product – one that you will enjoy eating (hopefully)! Be carefree and creative, and don’t stress if it’s not just like the picture.
4. Find Folly
- Seek silliness ~ Sadly, many people spend their entire lives hearing messages like these: “Stop acting like a kid;” “There’s work to be done, stop being silly.” How about visiting a local playhouse, playing in the park or seeing that new animated kids movie? We can still be responsible adults while integrating fun and folly to balance.
- Set aside seriousness ~ In what area of your life do you need to loosen up? Being overly serious or analytical can be a strain on your body, your brain and on those around you. Children are not afraid to ask questions. They seek to know more about their environment and don’t get hung up on process and procedure. We can still be practical without getting caught up in perfectionism or paralysis of analysis.
5. Expand your Horizons
- A hobby ~ What is something you really used to enjoy doing, but now feel you “just don’t have the time?” Try carving out just 30 minutes to read, or paint or do crossword puzzles. Spend some time savoring joy and wonder for yourself. Also, what is something you have always wanted to try but never got around to it? Take the first steps toward that invigorating challenge of sky-diving, or rollerblading or writing children’s stories. At any age, hobbies are fun and healthy!
- A group ~ If you enjoy mystery novels, join a book club. If you want to learn more about perennials, annuals or forsythias, find a gardening group. How fun and enriching to be with others, even virtually, and enjoy a common activity! Join a group and maximize your delight and pleasure of fun.
6. Do a Favor
- Surprise someone ~ Share your sense of thrill and fun with others! If you can do it safely, invite a neighbor or a parent from the carpool, or an acquaintance at the hardware store to do something fun together. Find favor in yourself and others and surprise someone today.
- Share your “gifts” ~ True happiness is serving others, and utilizing your strengths and gifts makes the task feel effortless. Put a smile on someone’s face by doing something for them that you are gifted at. Could you bake a cake, arrange flowers or hang pictures? When you share your talents and gifts with others, you share your delight and appreciation of them.