Most of us just aren’t having enough fun. Having fun is a basic human need and when we don’t have enough, we can experience higher levels of stress and anxiety. Sometimes when I ask my clients what they do for fun, there are blank looks, followed by silence, followed by a mini-lecture on the importance of dealing with the problems that brought them there in the first place. Having fun is relegated to the sidelines. But having fun is important. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You don’t have to wait until you go on vacation. You don’t have to feel guilty for having fun instead of “doing something productive”. Unfortunately, our culture discourages us from having fun until we have done all our work, solved all our problems, etc. etc. If we are caught having fun when there is work to do, we are often shamed. I get that. We may just have to put up a big ole boundary and have fun anyway even if it upsets people! If it were suddenly considered less than acceptable to eat vegetables, would you stop? Having fun is not an “extra” – it is really essential to our mental and physical health.
Okay, rant over. So, what do you do for fun? If you don’t know the answer to that then start a conversation with yourself. What would I like to do today, this week, this month that would be fun for me? You do not have to go to Disneyworld, go shopping, or even eat out! You could try a new recipe you have been wanting to try. You could watch a movie you have been wanting to see. You could go window shopping and then treat yourself to an ice cream sundae, or some other treat. You could take an art class. You could drive through the neighborhood and look at houses. You could go to the library and read magazines in a comfy chair. You could play Scrabble. These are just examples of simple fun. Start building some fun into your life and see if it doesn’t lower your stress and anxiety.