If you’ve been adulting for any good stretch, you may have run into this phenomenon in which having fun doesn’t come as naturally as it used to. Think about it—when’s the last time you actually had some honest-to-goodness fun? How often do you enjoy being silly or playful or childlike? If you’re like most adults these days, it has probably been quite some time. The news cycle and overall state of the world haven’t made having fun any easier, have they?
Well, all isn’t lost! You can still have fun no matter the state of the world or the year on your birth certificate. Here are a few simple ways to bring back the fun.
Your purpose-driven, responsible adult mind may resist the idea of focusing on fun. After all, you have all of these things to do and all of these people relying on you. Who has the time, right?
It can be helpful to remember the benefits of fun. Having fun can reduce your stress, improve your creativity, deepen your connections with others, and increase your energy. Fun is actually good for your productivity and adult responsibilities, wouldn’t you say? So why not put fun on your to-do list?
The thing about fun is that it isn’t the same for everyone. While one person may find a 20-mile nature hike the epitome of a good time, another finds just as much fun in cuddling up with a good book and a cup of tea. Think back to the times in your life when you had the most fun: What were you doing? What made those moments so much fun? What is the most fun activity you can possibly conceive of? Define what’s fun for you and then make a point of incorporating more of that in your life.
Having fun doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate. Sometimes all you need to lighten things up is a good chuckle. Whether you’re the sort that enjoys a light-hearted practical joke, like putting googly eyes on the food containers in the fridge, or one that can appreciate a solid dad joke, laugh it up with the people around you! You’re sure to find yourself having more fun.
Fun can seem elusive if you’re low on energy. One simple way to amp your state is to boogie on down. Turn up your favorite dance tunes—you know the ones—and move your body to the beat. You’ll lift your spirits and your mood and probably catch yourself having fun.
If you’ve been doing the same routine at the gym or running the same route for your exercise regimen, mix it up now and then with fun activities. Go ice skating or roller skating like you did when you were a kid, go tubing or skiing in the snow, or organize a neighborhood kickball game. Who says kids have to have all the fun?
If having fun doesn’t feel like it’s coming naturally to you, take some time to remember what it was like to be a young child. Remember your toys, remember the games you played with your siblings and friends, remember things you created or the things you did that caused you to lose track of time.
Maybe you convinced yourself that some of those things or activities were silly or useless. If you can’t help but smile, if you feel butterflies when you think back on the excitement that simple pleasures brought you, perhaps there are keys within those memories of things you might still find fun now. There’s wisdom in being able to maintain the childlike wonder we were born with. Tap into that. Does having fun seem more conceivable?
At the end of the day, fun is a state of mind. You can have fun wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, if you bring the fun with you. Say you’re doing your taxes, a task few people deem fun. How could you make it fun?
Might you order a pizza or delicious snack to go along with the task? Might you set up a fun reward to celebrate completing the task? Might you play enjoyable music while you go? Might you set up exercise or dance breaks every so many minutes to keep the momentum going?
You can make anything fun and you can share a spirit of fun with those around you. Whether you’re cleaning the house, helping the kids with math homework, doing laundry, weeding the garden, or trying to hit a work deadline—you can make it fun. Turn it into a party. Make it a contest. Reward your success. Just have fun.