Work is a good thing. It engages the mind, produces financial resources necessary to live, and hopefully stimulates you. However, just like anything else, too much of a good thing is no longer a good thing.
I have to admit: I love my job. I feel that coaching is not what I do, it is who I am. I love the fact that I’m being paid to do something I love! (I know… there were lots of “I love” in my previous sentence…)
But I often get so excited about work – creating new programs, exploring new opportunities, connecting with new partners – that I take it too seriously. I look back at the end of the workday and realize that I didn’t have time for fun.
So recently, I revisited my list of values and I added “fun” to my list of top values. It made me focus on creating a state of mind which supports and honors my value of fun. It is not so much about what I do; it is more about my attitude. Do I allow myself to enjoy the moment? Do I take breaks and do something different? For instance, playing the piano is real fun for me. So I created a habit of taking a break in the middle of every day and doing something fun, like playing the piano.
Do you struggle with finding time just for fun in your life? Do you save it all up for the weekends because your weekdays are too filled with work and other obligations?
Children seem to be the only ones who really know how to have fun no matter what they are doing. In the hallways of a school, you will hear children’s laughter almost at all times. They are constantly seeing the playful side of life. We can be more like that as adults!
Here are some ways to incorporate “fun” into your daily routine:
- Make it a priority and add it to your list of values.
- Live in the moment and remember that seeing events in your life through the eyes of a child is a choice.
- Learn to laugh at yourself. When you catch yourself stewing about what’s for dinner, sitting through a boring meeting, or groaning through an exercise class, see yourself from the outside and tell yourself to “lighten up.” There’s almost always something humorous in every situation if you only take a moment to look for it.
- Simply put a smile on your face as you go through your daily routines. It changes the way you feel and changes the way others see you. If you have a bright look on your face, others will be more willing to engage in a lighthearted conversation with you. You’ve heard the saying, “fake it till you make it.” Try simply smiling even when you don’t feel like it, and you will experience an upward mood swing.
- Chores also don’t have to be all about work either. Make a game out of them by seeing how quickly you can spruce up a room before you leave for work in the morning, and feel better and happier leaving the house a little tidier. Coming home to a neat kitchen at the end of a work day always lifts my mood.
- When you are driving in your car, perhaps you could choose an uplifting radio station to listen to. Nothing lifts my spirits more than a happy song, or a song that brings back a pleasant memory. You might even try listening to a motivational book on tape or a podcast from a speaker that raises your mood or inspires you.
Change your mindset and change your day. Tell yourself that you are going to live in the moment and enjoy what comes your way. Simply lightening up and taking yourself less seriously is a guarantee that you will experience more joy.
I encourage you to take small steps towards changing your mindset in all circumstances.