Fun can't be put off forever, though. Working too hard with too few breaks may not get us in trouble with other people, but it does take a toll. There is a well-documented weekend effect, where people tend to feel healthier and happier on Fridays and Saturdays, and sicker and more depressed on Sunday nights and Mondays. Burnout is a very real phenomenon that can result from lack of balance. And depression rates in our country (and worldwide) are on the rise; a lack of connection and positive mood can be risk factors--risk factors that can be minimized by having some enjoyable times with friends.
We tend to have busy lives and hectic schedules, and even many of the vacation days people are freely given by their employers go unused (or not used to the fullest), so clearly it is important for people to learn to have more fun in their lives. That's why I am recommending that you observe "Make Up Your Own Holiday" Day, which falls on March 26th this year, and celebrate it in a way that can relieve the most stress for you! Here are some of my ideas for how to make the most of it:
- Choose A These That Includes Connecting With Others
Maintaining a supportive group of friends is one lifestyle factor that is associated with increased health, longevity, and life satisfaction, and can be a great stress reliever. Social media is a fun way to stay in touch, but game nights, lunches with friends, or even quick phone calls can help you to stay connected in a more personal way. You can relieve stress by creating a holiday that involved getting together with others.
Another option is to create one that promotes healthy relationships. Although I am not Jewish, I have always loved the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur, as it is a day of atonement, a chance to start fresh with all of your relationships. How wonderful! When coming up with your own, you may want to create a holiday around an action or thought that brings you closer to people, like the already-invented holiday, "Someday We'll Laugh About This Week."
- Choose A Theme That Includes Creativity
If you find yourself wanting to paint, imagine, or in other ways create, why not fashion a holiday around that? Expressing creativity can be a wonderful stress relief strategy, as it often leads to flow experiences. One of my favorite "holidays" is National Novel Writing Month for this very reason! What creative pursuit might you want to celebrate?
- Choose A Theme That Involves A Change Of Pace
If you just need to do something relaxing, you could create a holiday around that. ReRun- Watching Day? (Yes, there are surprising benefits to watching reruns!) "In Bed For Peace Day" was an actual March 20th observance (I believe it originated with the Beatles!), and a relaxing one at that! In what way can a relaxed pace be part of your day?
- Choose A Theme That Involves A Little Fun
Be playful! What do you enjoy doing anyway? What kind of things can you not get enough of? What do yo always wish you could do, but never have the chance? Incorporate that into your special holiday so that at least one day a year, you are doing what you most want to do! (I think the people who created
- Spread The Fun!
Share your "holiday" with others, and multiply the fun! Sign into Twitter (if you're not following me already, I'm @ElizabethScott and @About_Stress, and I generally follow back), and tweet your holiday name with the hashtag #makeupyourownholiday . I'll share the best ones in my blog, and perhaps they can become official for next year!
How can you get more fun into your life, even when not celebrating your favorite (made-up) holiday? It's simpler than you may think, if you make fun a priority. Here are some ideas:
Fun Stress Relievers
How can you relieve stress by having fun? Here are some ideas to try!
Top Hobbies for Stress Relief
Certain activities are worth the time you put into them, just for the fun and stress relief you can get out of them. Here are some of my top picks for stress-relieving hobbies.
How To Maintain a Sense of Humor
Laughing at the stressors you face is one of the best ways to rob them of their difficulty. Here are some strategies for maintaining a sense of humor in life, and having more fun as you go.
Share Your Thoughts:
Do you feel that you have enough fun in your life? What do you do for fun? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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