When Is It Okay To Start Having Fun Again?
While this question sounds as if it’s coming from a bored five-year-old, it’s not. I’m asking it, wondering when it’s okay to start having fun again. Surprised I even uttered this question aloud, as soon as the words exited my mouth, the answer became crystal clear. Now is the perfect time to add fun back into our life. Maybe you never stopped having fun, and if that is the case, congratulations for keeping the joy alive. However, many of us have put fun on pause, instead settling for hanging in, taking things one day at a time, or simply doing our best. After all, haven’t these been typical responses when asked how we’ve been?
For the past 15 months, we’ve relinquished everyday activities, events, and behaviors coined as fun in an effort to adhere to health guidelines and care for those at risk. Refraining from our favorite pastimes, we searched for new ways to entertain ourselves. Certainly, a pause was necessary, but how long do we put things on hold? When is it time to reemerge and reengage with the pleasures of life?
Perhaps there’s a tinge of guilt surrounding the concept of having fun. It is as though we’re supposed to be in the trenches, fighting, alert, and aware. Enjoying or indulging may not feel right. After all, how can we be happy in a world filled with so much sadness? And what about others — how will they react if they see us having fun?
No doubt we know many who have experienced enormous sorrows and hardships. While we cannot change what has happened, we can continue to support these individuals and permit ourselves to smile. Take a walk, appreciate the newly blooming flowers, and observe the beauty outdoors. Look for the little things to brighten your day. It’s critical we allow fun because denying our ability to kick back and relax only invites negative long-term consequences. As humans we need touch, laughter, happiness, and joy not only to thrive, but also to survive in this crazy world.
Take care of your mental health
Since the beginning, I’ve had huge concerns about the long-term mental health effects ignited by COVID-19. Whether someone’s paralyzed at the thought of becoming sick, self-isolating, or numbing — overly indulging in food, alcohol, drugs, TV, or social media — the pandemic is hurting society in more ways than death, illness, and financial loss. Our children need the socialization of attending school on a regular basis. Likewise, it’s important for older folks to see children and grandchildren. Isolation has a huge emotional toll on individuals and their families.
And when we’ve needed each other the most, we’ve being kept apart, fearful that we will cause harm, especially to those we love. Social distancing and masks — while intended to keep us safe — have harmful effects on our minds. Requiring a physical distance and barrier is a constant reminder that others — many who you hold dear to your heart — can make you sick. Plus, masks prevent us from fully seeing one another. Think about this impact, especially on young our children. While we may not be able to find a perfect solution to today’s problems, having some fun may be a path to ease the pain. Plus, it will brighten our day.
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