While it’s easy to bump leisure time to the bottom of your to-do list, having fun is actually a vital part of our mental and physical wellbeing. If life has felt a bit joyless lately, here are our tips for getting some fun back into your day. When was the last time you had fun? […]
While it’s easy to bump leisure time to the bottom of your to-do list, having fun is actually a vital part of our mental and physical wellbeing. If life has felt a bit joyless lately, here are our tips for getting some fun back into your day.
When was the last time you had fun? Not just chuckling at a TikTok of a cat playing the piano – proper, all-encompassing fun?
If you’re having to cast your mind back a few weeks, months or years, you’re not alone.
Today’s fast-paced world can be overwhelming. Modern technology means that we’re always available at any time of day or night, making it difficult to draw the line between work and play. When coupled with the pressures of social media and a noisy 24-hour news cycle, is it any wonder we’re too stressed and exhausted to make time for fun?
But while it’s easy to bump leisure time to the bottom of your to-do list, we’re doing ourselves a disservice by forgetting to have fun. Far from being frivolous, fun is actually a vital component of wellbeing.
Living a joyful life reduces stress, improves immune function, boosts our energy and can even increase our lifespan. On the other hand, people who don’t incorporate fun into their lives have a significant likelihood of experiencing burnout.
And fun isn’t just important for our personal lives. Having fun at work can boost our concentration, memory and productivity, while companies that encourage fun see higher retention rates and increased job satisfaction. It can also help us to bond with our colleagues: when we have fun with others, it helps us to build trust, develop our communication skills and make stronger connections.
If life has felt a bit joyless lately, here’s how to get some fun back into your day.
Change your mindset
Have you noticed feelings of guilt creeping in whenever you start enjoying yourself? So many of us have limiting beliefs around leisure time, formed through years of social conditioning, family expectations or a strict work environment.
The first step to having more fun is to get out of your own way. Try reframing fun as more than just an immediate pleasure (although that’s fine too!): it’s an opportunity for growth and a chance to develop new skills while expanding your horizons. It’s normal to feel uneasy if you’ve been taught to prioritise work and responsibilities above all else. But remember that having fun is not self-indulgent. It’s essential for a happy, healthy life.
Tap into fun memories
Struggling with ideas for upping your fun quota? Put your phone down for a moment and think back to times when you’ve had proper fun. Try to remember moments when you were completely engrossed in the experience. Where were you at the time? What kinds of activities were you doing? Who were you with?
By identifying some of the common threads in those experiences, you’ll be able to come up with new ways to integrate more fun into your life moving forward.
It can also help to think about the things you loved to do as a kid. When was the last time you went on a rollercoaster or learnt a dance routine with your mates? If you enjoyed it when you were younger, chances are your tastes haven’t changed that much.
Spice up your daily tasks
If you’re always struggling to fit in leisure time, make the most of your day by finding ways to integrate fun into more snooze-worthy activities. Got to clean the bathroom? Stick on a favourite podcast or audiobook to turn a mundane chore into a chance to learn or be entertained. Cooking dinner? Create a mood-boosting playlist of upbeat tunes and treat yourself to some kitchen dancing.
Getting other people involved is also a great way to add fun into your day. For example, if exercise isn’t your thing, invite a friend to join you for a walk, exercise class or swim to make your workouts more social and to keep you motivated.
Nothing is less fun than doing the same things day in, day out. Integrating new experiences into your routine keeps things fresh, counteracts boredom and stimulates your brain by sparking curiosity. Break the monotony of everyday life by swapping ‘passive’ leisure activities like mindlessly watching TV or scrolling social media for something that engages your mind and body. That could be trying out a new sport, learning a language, exploring a part of your local town or city that you’ve never visited before, or meeting up with a friend you’ve not seen in a while.
As well as boosting your mood, doing more ‘active’ leisure activities will also help you to remember the experiences in richer detail in the future.
Add it to your calendar
Scheduling in ‘fun time’ might sound bonkers but the reality is that it can be easy to overlook chances to enjoy ourselves unless we actively make time for them. As kids we constantly find ourselves in environments that encourage us to have fun but the older we get the less likely we are to engage in spontaneous play.
By regularly blocking out time in your calendar to catch up with a mate, head to a pottery class or go for a long walk, you’ll prove to yourself that you have more space for fun in your life than you might previously have thought. The more attention you pay to having fun, the more you’ll notice the benefits.
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