by SHELLEY BRUCAR
Have you started bringing FUN back into your life? Here are the next 5 ideas…
16. READ A BOOK JUST FOR FUN. Go to the bestseller list, the library or the bookstore, and just pick something that looks like an enjoyable read. An engrossing story is a great tool for taking us on a short vacation. It’s a good thing to get “away from it all” sometimes; you come back refreshed and ready to face the day. While you’re at it, join a book group; reading with friends and discussing books keeps you reading (you don’t want to find out the end before you’ve finished the book); it can bring the story to a whole new dimension when you hear other people’s perspectives; and it offers the opportunity for some FUN social time with friends. I understand that there are some bookgroups, like Tracy’s, where reading the book is not really necessary as long as there are good refreshments – and wine!
17. TAKE A CLASS JUST FOR FUN. There are so many classes through park districts, schools and continuing education providers. Look through a course catalog and pick a class that looks interesting. Maybe it’s something you’ve done before and want to pick up again, or maybe it’s something you’ve never even thought about. Learning something completely new or getting new info on something you are already familiar with can result in hours of pleasure – and you will probably meet some interesting people.
18. TAKE UP A NEW HOBBY – OR AN OLD ONE. Along the same lines as reading or participating in a class, engaging in a hobby can provide a break from the usual routine, and it can be a new source of fun and a venue for meeting new people. Spending some time during the week with a hobby that you feel passionate about simply feels good. My husband did not believe this (we’re talking years of encouragement from me to get a hobby) until he got involved in photography. The extent of his photo equipment and hours spent taking photos and looking at/manipulating them in Photoshop is a very clear indication of how much joy he gets from this hobby.
19. LAUGH! For some of us, taking on adult responsibilities make life all serious. When was the last time you had a good hearty laugh – when you couldn’t stop until it hurt? Incorporate things into your regular routine that make you laugh – funny movies or tv shows, funny books, friends who make you laugh, a comedy show at a local theater. Laughing is such an easy way to relieve tension – and it’s free.
20. BUY FLOWERS FOR SOMEONE YOU LOVE … for no special occasion, but just because. It will make both of you feel loving and loved.
Now you’ve got the first 20 items from my “100 Stress Reducers” list. Don’t try to do them all; just pick the ones that appeal to you and see what a difference a few small changes can make in how peaceful you feel. And how about sharing your ideas – what has worked for you in the past to relieve or prevent stress?