With the endless cell phone scrolling and screen staring, it seems like people are always bored, forgetting about all of the fun left in life. Between work and family responsibilities, somewhere along the line we became adults, and having fun almost seems taboo. Having fun can often seem like a guilty pleasure, and we feel we are selfish because of it.
Just because we are adults, doesn’t mean that we have to live a borerd lifestyle. The need for play is no less important than when we were children. Dr. Stuart Brown, a psychiatrist and founder of the National Institute for Play, has reviewed over 6,000 case studies of childhood and adulthood exposure to playing.
He found that boredom and a lack of exposure to playing was equally as important in predicting criminal behavior as other factors. He is also learned that couples who played together were more emotionally connected and intimate.
So what does it mean to have fun, and how much of it do we need? Having fun means to do something because it’s meaningful and for pure pleasure. And that something can’t be work. The beauty of fun and play is that a little goes a long way. Just a few minutes a day of doing something just for the fun of it can keep you from being bored, as well as contribute to better overall productivity and happiness.
Here 6 Things to Remember When You’re Bored Out of Your Mind
1. Remember what fun means to you.
Fun means different things to different people. Sometimes we do “fun” things with friends but it might not be our preferred type of fun. Fun might mean hiking or knitting, painting or gardening, or playing sport or baking. It’s important that we foster that feeling of fun that we had when we were younger. Pick an activity that allows you to get lost in it as if time is flying by.
2. Remember to surround yourself with fun people who like to play.
It’s a lot easier to make life fun again when we are surrounded by people who like to have fun and have similar interests as us. Having fun shouldn’t be work, and creating a fun habit is much more rewarding when you share it with the people you are closest to. It’s also important to incorporate play into our existing relationships, so let’s schedule some “fun” dates to help get our partners on the same page.
3. Remember that you don’t have to stay bored.
We often get so caught up in our routine that it becomes almost mundane. Add a splash of color to your wardrobe or your hair, bike to work one day a week, or plan a coffee date with someone new each week. Sometimes just doing something a little different or changing our habits can breathe a bit of fresh air into our lives.
4. Remember to find the small joys in things you don’t like.
It’s obvious that not every day can be full of fun things. There are still things we have to do that aren’t necessarily our ideal version of fun. For some people that might be going to work, a doctor’s appointment or even running errands.
The goal is to find something about the things we don’t enjoy that can make them more fun. It can be something like listening to a podcast while walking on a break at work, reading that magazine you never have time to read while waiting for the doctor, or singing along to fun songs while running errands.
When we take the time to make our time count, we can begin to be more mindful of our time and realize we can create our own fun. Having fun isn’t a thing, it’s a process, so add more of it wherever you can.
5. Remember possibility.
Sometimes our thinking is limited by the daily grind. There are no rules to how any day will unfold except the ones we put in place. We should let the possibility of the day inspire us to think bigger and do more. Having fun isn’t about what we should do or could do, it’s what we will do. There are endless possibilities for fun, and it’s up to us to find them.
6. Remember to schedule in the fun.
The idea of having to schedule fun seems like it will take the fun out of it. On the contrary, it will remind us and create a focus on having fun, so it doesn’t get swept under the rug when the latest crises arise. It’s easy to find reasons to not to have fun, but it’s harder to ignore it when you make time for it.
When we were kids, life was all about fun. We chose to do things because we loved doing them. We didn’t think about it; we just did it. It’s time to get back to that mindset. Fun isn’t just something to do to pass the time. It adds tremendous value to our lives through increased satisfaction, decreasing stress levels and strengthening our relationships.