After months of working from various coffee shops, the construction in my home office is complete and I’m back at my desk. I’d forgotten how pretty my view is. But the best part? Our neighbors have a new puppy. And oh boy does that puppy know how to have a blast.
He doesn’t have a ton of toys at his disposal, but he takes what he has and he runs with it. He runs in circles. He throws his own ball and catches it. He rolls around on the ground and chases the falling leaves. He plays and plays and plays and plays. My cheeks hurt from smiling so much.
The little guy has made me think … what am I doing during my day that’s truly just for fun?
My favorite life coach, Martha Beck said this about fun: “Having fun is not a diversion from a successful life; it is the pathway to it.”
I’m all for that. But fun is usually the last thing on my list. So for this post, I brainstormed ways to have more fun without exhausting myself.
Four Ways to Add More Play to Your Life
1. Find creative ways to make the mundane more enjoyable. When your body hurts, exercise can be a chore. But my rheumatologist insists I exercise to the best of my ability. Using the puppy as an example of fun exercise, I came up with this: I could join the puppy in the backyard. I could rake leaves then jump into them. I could dance to my favorite song. Heck, I could run like Phoebe.
2. Ask yourself, how would my inner child approach this task? I don’t remember much about my childhood (thanks, brain fog. And college). But I have a child and know what motivates her. Recently, she loves being timed as she does a task. So this afternoon when I fold laundry, I’ll set a timer instead of my normal activity of spacing out and watching reruns. Bonus: The quicker the chores are done, the quicker I can move on to a task I truly enjoy.
3. Do what you want to do rather than what you have to do. I come from farm folk, and my need to get what NEEDS done always comes first. I put this to the test this morning, forgoing the pile of work that awaited me. I sat down and ate breakfast instead of getting crumbs stuck in my keyboard. I soaked in the bath instead of taking a rushed shower. I listened—really listened—to one of my favorite songs. Although I nearly panicked when I finally sat at the computer and saw the time, I got my work done. Dare I say that I worked more efficiently? I definitely spent less time traveling down various internet rabbit holes.
4. Look with curiosity at, well, everything! My daughter is five. Next to mommy, the word I hear most often is why. It’s seriously distressing to realize how little I know about things like clouds and rainbows. But her questions usually lead us to something fun. Another great question is what if? Recently I asked her how she wanted to spend her day. Her reply? Go to Hawaii. (I love her big dreams!) Rather than a flat no, I asked her what if we went to the library to find a book about Hawaii. It was a great way to spend a rainy day together stuck here in Colorado.
When I’m having fun, I always feel better. I encourage you to channel your inner puppy. Adventure awaits!