The good news? Having fun is part of being healthy!
While we're all pushing hard to be superhumanly productive and successful, it's easy to dismiss our hobbies and fun activities as distractions. It's obvious to most people that encouraging children to play is great for their development, but did you know that it is just as important for adults too?
Play, fun, hobbies, unstructured activities and doing stuff without expecting an outcome are all things that keep humans balanced, happy and connecting with others. It can also reduce the risk of Alzheimer's and many other ailments, particularly those related to old age. Fun AND good for your health? Yes!
Just think about it - you know the feeling when you're on holidays and you're doing something new and your face breaks out into a beaming smile and you feel an overwhelming sense of joy and contentment? Seems pretty obvious that a feeling or sensation like that is also good for you.
Listen to your pets... they know what's up.
There are many studies that show the positive impact of play for adults [see the references at the end for links!]. Not only is it good for your mental state, dealing with stress, connecting with others, your health and longevity, it also helps inspire creativity and out-of-the-box thinking.
Fun and play can take many forms. The important thing is to not always attach a desired outcome to it. You can play just for the sake of playing. It doesn't always have to be about winning or gaining something in particular (other than JOY). Throw a ball around, try out a new sport, join a book club, grab some paints and a canvas. As long as it has nothing to do with your work or your day-to-day - it'll do!
For me, my fun and play includes going to art galleries, painting, meditation, walks in the countryside, playing sports in teams (sometimes this borders on work as I am a teenie bit competitive). I love to travel and always make sure I have something exciting lined up to look forward to. I try to get to as many different, new places as I can each year so that I can get to know different people, places and culture.
So, grab a friend, get out there, get the giggles and enjoy.