It goes without saying that most of us live by our smart phones and calendars. We schedule our doctor’s appointments and our kids’ soccer games. We ensure that we’re on time for our work appointments. But when was the last time you put “Have a Blast!” on your calendar.
With stress being the #1 a source for anxiety and depression, why not allow yourself some time to enjoy life? Hint: It’s not going to happen on its own. (Last we checked, no kid ever said, “Mom, don’t worry about my birthday party… you take in a movie!”) So grab that calendar and give someone other than the kids a rockin’ play date. (That would be YOU!)
5 Ways to Schedule Fun
- Exercise: Even if it’s just for 30 minutes every morning, go to bed earlier and get up for a quick walk or run. It might sound like “just one more thing to do” but the truth is that exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins lower stress. Less mental pressure means more room for joy to filter through the cracks of your to-do list.
- Weekly Friendship Dates: When was the last time you saw that best friend from college who happens to live ten miles from you? Call her up and ask her if she wants to have a weekly coffee date with you. It might only be for an hour at a sitting, but the connection and support you receive from a person other than your immediate family can go a long way toward enjoying life more.
- Reading and Books: When you’re busy, the first thing to go is entertainment, but don’t let that happen. Reading or watching a great mini-series is an easy way to stop thinking about yourself and put your brain at rest. Mark out a time on your calendar every day to do this, even if it’s only for 15 minutes on your lunch period. It can seem small and inconsequential at first (maybe even inconvenient) but it’s good practice to keep you out of your rut.
- Monthly Outings: Yes, you really can find time for this. And it’s necessary. A life full of “have to’s” is not living. Even in the most difficult circumstances, we can find a way to have some “want to’s.” Swap kids with a friend, put the date on your significant other’s Google Calendar (heck, send him or her an invite!) and have a back-up plan. Whether your outing is something easy and predictable (like a movie or dinner) or more out-of-the box (sky diving anyone?) the main point is you’re forcing yourself to have a blast NO MATTER WHAT.
- Have an Accountability Partner: It’s not uncommon to have a partner for fitness or work goals. Why not have one for fun goals, too? By checking in with someone, you are guaranteeing that your calendar has some joy on it. If you need encouragement to take that time off to hike when you “really have soooo much work to do” your partner will remind you of all the reasons you are worth a little rest and relaxation.
If It Feels Uncomfortable, That’s Okay
If you feel awkward with this new “fun” regime, that’s okay. Anything new is going to feel different, but it doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Just look at our muscles when we start a new work-out. They don’t immediately become soft and pliable. Instead they taunt us with muscle pain and sore calves. It’s the body’s way of saying, “Hey, this is new and it’s weird” but guess what? Little by little, you are stronger and more fit. The same will be said of your new workout of joy.
Purchase a Beautiful Calendar
There’s something to be said for a lovely journal or calendar that you sit down with every day. Touching the pages and using a beautiful pen can be a meditative experience. Some of these calendars come with inspirations that can encourage your new routine. The act of picking up a pen to paper is a lovely ritual that will daily remind you, “You are worth having an enjoyable life. Go for it!”
What do you do for fun?
We’d love to hear from you!
by Andrea Frazer for SimpleRx
Andrea Frazer is a writer, wife, mom to two Tweens and a rescue dog. Check back for more of her posts and tips on healthy living, healthcare awareness as well as the latest news and ways to benefit from SimpleRx Prescription Discount Program.