Fun, fun, fun! That is what I’m writing about today!
“Even though you’re growing up, you should never stop having fun.” – Nina Dobrev
Those who have trained with me at my hypnotherapy training college, attended hypnotherapy sessions with me as a client, or attended any of my lectures, read my books or listened to my podcasts, I think it is obvious that I like to have some fun. If I’m honest, I doubt I could do the things I do if I did not have fun while doing it.
One of the things that has made my holiday so enjoyable, was having fun with my wife and children. Whether it was playing beach games together, fun in the swimming pool, bedtime shenanigans or just silliness and games we do while on long drives to and from different campsites, we made it all as much fun as possible.
I’ve written about related topics here before, and I strongly recommend you having a read of these articles:
Many of us are at a stage in our lives where we’re either doing what we love, or are working towards it. But, even so, there comes a time when some of it can become boring. Work can get monotonous, weekends aren’t always that exciting, and we’re occasionally feeling that our lives are coming to a standstill. When this happens, there’s always a few small things we can do to slowly get out of the mentality of life being one big metaphorical boring desk job on a Monday morning, and give ourselves that boost we need to go on and chase our dreams or just enjoy the moments of our life a bit more. Having fun is key.
Here are the things we can do to make life a little more interesting and engineer a bit more fun into our lives.
1. Real-Life Social Interaction!
The next time you’re wondering how to spend your Sundays differently, try this. It need not be a grand affair; just invite a couple of friends over for a board game, drinks, and snacks, or just for some catching up. It’ll leave you pumped for the next week to start. Researchers at the London School of Economics found that spending time with our friends makes us happier than being with our nearest and dearest ones.
So much of our interaction these days is done electronically, so ditch the gadgets, put the phone down and have some valuable time interacting with friends face-to-face, you’ll be pleased you did, it is such a tonic and will create fun and laughter for sure.
2. Tweak Your Environment.
Often, our surroundings add to our feeling of boredom from the same old routine. Try to re-arrange the living room, your bedroom, or any other room that you usualy relax in. Walking in and finding a differently set room will definitely make the space look and feel fresh. If you want to take a step ahead, go on and paint a wall or two with your loved ones or refurbish that space slightly. That’ll make for a fun activity too.
What about your work space where you spend plenty of your time? You can do the same thing there. Or how about finding somewhere different to work for a day or two here and there? I have spent days at our beach hut from time to time either with coaching clients, or just by myself with my laptop.
3. Treat Yourself.
This is exponentially more than just buying stuff. This is not about buying stuff, it’s about rewarding and treating yourself.
You remember the time when you walked into your favourite store and really liked a dress, suit, shoes, or that bag they had on display, but you let it go because you thought it was too expensive? Treat yourself and buy that thing. It might be a little heavy on the pockets, but the feeling of finally owning it will make you feel really good. Plus, you could always try living economically after the purchase for a while.
Or instead of that, invest in a lovely experience or trip away for a day or a weekend to create some life memories, go do something you would love to do. Or treat yourself to a new film, a favourite food, a glass of something naughty or indulge in a guilty pleasure of some kind, and dispense of all the guilt!
4. Take a long drive.
I mean this metaphorically and actually.
You could wake up early in the morning and take a long, relaxed drive, or do the same late at night. Go a little outside your city, and take in all the freshness and peace you can. Don’t forget to put on some good music!
For fun, I nip to my local beach or a lake and go for a long paddleboard session on the water. A drive could mean a walk, a run, or any kind of venture out where you can spend time by yourself going to a destination and back, the destination does not even have to be known at the outset.
5. Or an unplanned trip to a destination close by…
I alluded to this earlier. Impromptu trips often end up to be the most memorable. Call your friends up and decide on a short trip over the weekend. If you’re looking for some alone time, go on an impromptu trek. It’s bound to make things more exciting. Or just have a day or half day out somewhere for a change of scene with or without people.
6. Surprise a loved one.
A busy life can often make us distant from the ones we love. To break the cycle, try surprising your loved one with something they didn’t expect. Pay a small surprise visit to your family if they live close by. Take your significant other out for a film and dinner, or stay in and cook them their favourite meal. Or, write a small letter and slip it in their pocket before they go to work. Nothing will make them happier than when they discover it.
Give love, create a pleasant surprise for others and you’ll surprise yourself at how much fun it can creates for you too.
7. Document your feelings.
When was the last time you decided to get in touch with your feelings about things? We’ve all become so involved in carving out perfect lives, that we haven’t actually taken time to stop, step back, and think about how everything makes us feel. So take some time off, sit back, and reflect. Write down your opinions and feelings, especially the negative ones, no matter how much or how little you have to say. Once you put the pen to use, you will start feeling better and more motivated.
You can do this in a daily journal and be disciplined to do it every day, or you can have a notepad around you that you fill in when it feels like the right time to do so. Self-monitoring is used in therapy a great deal, but it does not have to be used for therapeutic purposes exclusively. It can become something that helps you lighten your load and have some fun.
8. Volunteering and community activities.
Take one day off to volunteer for activities like assisting at an event for a good cause, a clean-up, donating clothes, or just going out and feeding the hungry and poor. It’ll give you a new level of satisfaction. Researchers in the Interdisciplinary Program for Empathy and Altruism Research at the University of Michigan found that Volunteering can give us a deep sense of happiness, which is also associated with longer and healthier lives.
You can also join a local meetup or community class. It could be anything- dancing, singing, learning an instrument, a new language or cooking – taking up a fun activity will make you look forward to class every time. And hence, keep you more excited and you’ll have more social interaction at the same time.
9. Do something you are afraid of doing.
“There’s no fear when you’re having fun.” – Will Thomas
Fear is an emotion that will get you out of the boredom you’re facing, if nothing else does. Decide that you want to face your fears, and when you do it, you’ll feel accomplished. Go ahead, take a swimming lesson if you’re afraid of the water. Are you afraid of your own assumed limitations? Then take up a challenge that will give you the opportunity to test those limits and push beyond them. You know you can do it.
10. Spend some time getting to know yourself.
Amidst so many things waiting to eat us alive in this over-competitive world, there is often no place left for ‘me time’ anymore. Instead of going to that office party where you were probably going to make ‘connections’ and ‘contacts’ with people you might not even want to speak to again, take some time off and spend it with yourself. Shut that phone off and cook, sleep, binge watch movies, or meditate. Get to know and understand yourself.
There’s a whole lot of thinking that can get in the way of mindfulness and presence. We can choose to quiet those thoughts, and get better at it with practice. There’s nothing as important as some peace of mind.
I wrote about this in more detail here:
Solitude – The Importance of ‘Me Time’ and How It’ll Make You More Successful.
11. Find the Comedy.
I watch and have watched a lot of comedy. I watch some form of comedy every day and it has led to me having a sense of humour that ensures I instinctively find fun and humour in most situations in life. Watching comedy is like training for your sense of humour. Stretch your sense of humour, watch and listen to things that you might not usually and develop your humour in a range of ways. Then you’ll start to find yourself finding fun and comedy in the dark corners of life and finding fun at the most trying of times and it’ll lift, lighten and bring you joy.
All of us can make our lives more fun and can learn to find more fun in our day-to-day existence and it has such a major impact upon our lives in general. I’ll leave you with a favourite quote of mine:
“Fun is one of the most important – and underrated – ingredients in any successful venture. If you’re not having fun, then it’s probably time to call it quits and try something else.” – Richard Branson
I could not agree more.