It seems like there are so many people that say “I don’t have time for fun, I have work to do.” Or, “Why worry about having fun? I have too many other things to worry about.” The reason you need to have more fun in your life should be obvious, but to many it’s not. Fun means letting your hair down, relaxing. It means letting go of your problems and worries for a short time. It means healing.
It might seem scary at first, but when you let go of your problems, even for a short while, they will seem less intense. If while you stop worrying you also take time to have a good laugh – maybe playing with your dog, reading a story to your child, reading a book, or heck even eating some potato chips. (Ok, potato chips may not be most people’s idea of a good time, but sometimes when you’re really stressed that comfort food really helps.)
Playtime (or relaxation) gives you time to adjust, time for contemplation. For the same reason that so many people get their best ideas in the shower – when your brain is not focused on one thing in particular it’s free to wander where it will, sometimes bringing new insight and understanding with it.
Even if you don’t get any sudden awareness or your problems don’t magically go away, it’ll give you perspective. Sometimes, on a really bad problem, the perspective may be “Hey, I’m still alive,” or “At least I still have a job to pay those car repair bills.” Little things yes, but when problems seem enormous the little things can help make them seem more manageable.
The easiest way to do this is to make a list. Write down at least 30 things you enjoy. Shoot for 100 things, anything at all, but try to at least get 30. Then put the list somewhere you can see it, and give yourself a month to do at least one of those things every day. If you’re not used to having fun, it may seem like yet another chore, something else you HAVE to do. It should be enjoyable from the first time you try it.
If going to see a new movie is too time-consuming for you now, try calling a friend, signing up for a daily joke email, or even eating an ice cream cone. If you can’t read a whole book, get a daily quote book or just read the comics in the newspaper. Start small, but make sure it’s something you enjoy doing. That will help you stick to it more often.
As a last encouragement, recognize it does take time. I’m still far from my own goal, but for at least the past 5-6 years I’ve been learning and growing. I recover more quickly from emotional upset, I laugh more often, and I notice things that make me happy more than I used to, which lets me repeat them again and again. So go have a little fun today!