It’s been a tough year for some of us thus far, so Fat Free Mama has elected May as a month of Fun! What is fun anyway? Is it energy? Is it freedom? Is it the absence of depression? Is it expensive? Well, we know it improves our health and there’s no time like the present for that – and there is nothing like exercise to fan the fun pheromones.
Following an informal survey of friends and family – most could just about think of one or two fun things they had done that day – usually hobbies, exercise and time spent with family. Few reported actively setting aside ‘fun time’. If the statistics are anything to go by life becomes more about work than about play, and more about acquisition than fun. Follow these fun tips to be one of the three out of four people who don’t have any mental health issues this year!
1 Eat, drink, exercise and be merry
It’s hard to think about fun when you’re hungry, tired and haven’t done anything more exciting than drive to work all week. Exercise releases ‘I feel fabulous, pretty and popular’ endorphins, so if the exercise itself doesn’t do it for you, rely on the hormones and post exercise smugness to get you through. Apart from exercise, get enough sleep (eight hours in most cases) and nourish your body with healthy food and plenty of water. Simple, effective, but may involve changing your lifestyle a little. Sorry.
2 Plan fun things
At Fat Free Mama we’re big fans of lists. Putting your ‘fun’ in your diary gives you a commitment. Plan small and simple pleasures. A monthly date with a good friend and an ice cream in Wimbledon Park can be much more fun than a costly night out for Sushi and karaoke.
3 Ditch the doomsday dude
We all know a few people whom we like or even love, who thrive on ‘times like these’. For them, the economy is the new weather and they can be exhausting. Doomsday Dudes are not usually bad people, they simply talk and think from negative frames of reference. Unless they’re related to you, bin them. It’s much healthier — and more fun — to be surrounded by ‘can do’ attitudes.
4 Don’t say the R-word
Don’t say the R-word, EVER. If you own a company, ban your staff from discussing it at work. If you work in a company see Fun Tip no. 3. There are an awful lot of people whose businesses are about the economy — but equally, there are an awful lot of us who can’t do much about it. And since the ‘r’ word is distinctly un-fun, we’re not helping ourselves by thinking and talking about it at every opportunity. Plan for the good times ahead (for they will come) and if money is tight right now, look to the things that you already have and appreciate them.
5 Turn off the TV
The effects of TV are the source of much research, but the general consensus is that we watch too much of it. While it can be beneficial in small doses, as a habit it intrudes on intimate relationships, health and creativity and continues to promote harmful stereotypes. If you like the comfort of the noise then put some music on. If you find it relaxing because you switch on to ‘switch off’ then expect it to be a little challenging at first. Turning off the tele is a great opportunity to hang out with family and friends but an even greater opportunity to tune into you.