Picture by Tracie Taylor Photography
I have a problem. A serious problem. I am too serious. And I don’t like it! I like to laugh, joke and smile through my day. I enjoy debating the latest book I’m reading, a cool TV show or the newest movie. I like to be full of energy, enthusiasm and feel ecstatic throughout my day.
I recently realized anew that I am full of childlike wonder and sense of fun. I just had to dust myself off and look at my habits to find that humor again. If you want to join me in giggling, wiggling, dancing and prancing through your day, then keep reading.
We all face difficulties and disturbances of all kinds in our day. Sometimes these problems build up without our notice, leaving us suddenly fearful, angry or overwhelmed. When your life conspires to suck all the fun out of your day, fight back!
Start by assessing what you enjoy. Although the ideas I give here may not be your cup of tea, I hope they shake up your thinking and help you discover what brings you delight and joy.
I have many strategies for adding fun (and I’m always looking for more.) Here are a few of things I do to bring a little laughter, foolishness and chuckles to my day:
- Party cups. These are the plastic cups they have for children’s parties at Wal-Mart, Toys R’ Us and other stores. They are generally from the latest children’s movie or cartoon. I buy them and keep them in my cabinet to add a smile when I get a drink. Characters like Spiderman, Sponge Bob, Winnie the Pooh, Iron Man and Star Wars Clones.
- Humor folder. This is full of fun, creative things to do. It could be silly signs for work, knock-knock jokes, brainstorming ideas, meaning of life quotes, lists of way to improve your mood, using humor at work, etc. Obviously you can see that I need humor more often at work than at home. But all the ideas in the folder can be used almost anywhere.
- Wallpapers. Not the kind that go on your wall, but the kind that goes on your computer, phone, or other electronic device. Put a picture of a dog in a wig, or a smiling cow on your phone where you’ll see it every time you text or call. A kid covered in spaghetti sauce can make a great humorous computer background. Even though these are small things, they can add a smile to your day. Anytime you’re smiling is a good time.
- Talking toys. Recently I was in a thrift store that had a talking Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean. The sayings weren’t even that great, but when you’re bored and press the button the funny accent makes you laugh. It was a great investment for a few dollars. I’ve had talking Buzz Lightyear, a cool Terminator, and the hilarious Tuck and Roll interactive dolls from A Bug’s Life. All were great conversation pieces, and even better, they made me laugh each time I touched them. (Note – talking toys that laugh and vibrate at the same time will really get you laughing. Check out this hilarious Laughing Dog Toy (love the name – Chuckle Buddies. Note the chimp is on sale for 1/2 off!)
- Ipod videos. This can be a great source of entertainment. Whether it’s a comedian routine like Eddie Murphy or some You Tube video of a kid dancing, these are great stress busters. Take an hour or so once a week and load 2-3 on there. When you’re stuck at the airport, in a traffic jam, or in a really long meeting, pull that sucker out and have a good laugh. (Just be prepared for the funny looks from people who have no idea what’s so funny.)
- Music. Music is a great mood lifter. It doesn’t matter what you like, it can break up tension. Classical, Jazz, Rock, Pop, Country, Motown and more. I use music to relax, to exercise, to clean and to stop boredom. Try a variety for different moods. Add a few music videos too.
- Funky clothes. Wear t-shirts with funny sayings, polka-dot socks, character ties or colorful underwear. Wear all purple today, on put on a bright yellow shirt. You can wear sparkles; add iron-on decals, pink shoelaces, a glow necklace or a smiley face pin. Clothes can definitely change your mood, so a playful wardrobe can bring out a playful mood.
- Pens, post-its and paper. We use these things every day, so why not spice them up so you look forward to using them? Try colored pens like purple, turquoise and jade. Buy post-it notes with funny sayings or characters like Maxine from Hallmark. Use colored copy paper whenever you have a chance, it will really add pizzazz to those memos. If you insert a joke into your memo as well you’ll really find out who is reading them.
- Make scents. Use scents to liven up your environment. Essential oils can be relaxing or invigorating. At work try lemon, orange or eucalyptus. To relax try rose, lavender, chamomile or some other light floral scent. Experiment with lotions, pillow sprays, air fresheners and more. Even changing up your laundry detergent can brighten your day. Clothes smelling like a garden are infinitely more enjoyable than those smelling like bleach.
- Doodle. Try to revive the lost art of doodling. Letters, numbers, shapes, colored lines, whatever catches your fancy. Doodling gives your hands something to do, and can actually spark creative ideas.