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It’s Spring. Time to Lighten Up!

Now that we’ve all survived the winter and likely tackled some seriously boring adult responsibilities like spring cleaning and preparing taxes, its time for a shift in mentality. The warmer weather is not just for lightening up your wardrobe, its also time to lighten up your spirit. Spring is a great time to rediscover fun, joy and humor. My belief is that good mental health is achieved by making light-heartedness part of everyday life.

It seems to me that most of us have lost touch with good old-fashioned fun. What is that exactly? I think its about appreciating what we have. Its about taking a step back and looking at things in a more humorous, warmer, and wonder-filled way. Above all, its about doing things that bring us joy.

Maybe the sunshine is bringing out the Polly Anna in me, but I really think a shift towards lightening up is instrumental for battling depression and anxiety. I also think its absolutely key for having positive relationships. So when you start to think, “I don’t have time to do fun things” please remember that fun is essential to your well-being. Do not procrastinate on having fun!

Here are my ideas for activities that nurture fun. I encourage you to think of your own.

Play outside. Its a great way to connect with your children, but even adults are bringing back outdoor “play.” There are local clubs for running, soccer, basketball, ultimate frisbee, kickball and dodgeball.

Cultivate hobbies. Make time to do things that you enjoy whether its scrap-booking, writing, fishing, or crossword puzzles.

Sing. Whether its in your car, in the shower, or in front of an audience, singing is bound to improve your mood.

Dance. Its hard to feel serious when you are moving and grooving.

Talk. Taking time to connect with people you enjoy can make stress disappear (or at least shrink).

Take yourself less seriously. See if you can find the humor in your mistakes and not put unrealistic pressures on yourself. You’ll feel better and I’m willing to bet that people will find you easier to be around.

POSTED: 4 May, 2011

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