With so many more of us working from home than in previous years, many have found it hard to find a balance between time to work and time to relax. Thanks to our phones, work emails are right at our fingertips at any moment of the day. Notifications interrupt the time we’re spending with the people we love.
It’s time to prioritize doing things that bring us joy, things that are fun. Being productive and busy all the time is a recipe for increased stress and burnout. Scheduling time to have fun with a significant other, prioritizes moments of connection which can in turn lower stress and make your relationship stronger. And – as we’ve discussed before – lower stress can help you be healthier.
Another important aspect of spending quality time with people you love, including friends, is building a strong social support structure. Studies have shown people who feel loved and supported by their community experience a greater sense of well-being, happiness, and enjoy better sleep. You heard it here first, having fun is part of a healthy lifestyle.
Where to start
Sit down and have you and your significant other each create a list of 15 things you enjoy doing together for fun. Be sure to include things that are no cost, or low cost. Exchange lists. You might be surprised at how easy it is to do something that your significant other enjoys. Even better, you might find several things on your lists that match that you didn’t realize before.
Once you have your ideas gathered, now it’s time to act. Choose any one item and actually schedule it into your calendar. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference it makes to have your special activity written down where you’ll see it. You can even do this for when you want to work on something you enjoy doing alone.
When the time comes to have fun, I highly recommend that phones are put away somewhere else. The only exception is if your activity takes you away from home and you need to keep track of kids. At first, it might feel weird to not have a phone to turn to if the conversation starts to lull, but fight the temptation to turn your attention away from your partner or from the activity you wanted to work on.
Fun for the whole family
Our family tends to be pretty busy. One of the things that we do to stay connected is play board games together. During that time, we put our phones away and laugh and be silly together. We recently learned to play Ticket to Ride, a board game that has the same level of complexity and strategy as Risk. It’s my goal that my kiddos’ best memories are spending time as a family doing crazy and fun things.
Discussion Question: What random thing do you do for fun with your partner or family?