We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.
- George Bernard Shaw
If your first thought when reading the title of this post was, Yeah, I have fun! I listen to fun music while I’m running errands! Then that’s a great start, but you definitely need to be having more of it.
Studies show that while nearly all Americans (97%) believe fun is important, almost two-thirds (58%) say they feel limited in their ability to live a fun, happy life. In fact, only 49% of American women report having fun on a regular basis.
And frankly, we can see why. You’ve got 168 hours in a week. 40 -er more like 60 of those hours are spent working, 56 hours sleeping. Then, when you factor in the kids, household chores, working out, grocery shopping and cooking, there’s not much time left for fun.
Another reason women are having less fun is the guilt factor. Women often feel like they don’t deserve to put themselves first. We are conditioned to work, work, work (enneagram 3’s, we see you) and put everyone’s needs before ours (any enneagram 2’s out there?) And when it comes to money, any leftover “fun money” should be spent on our kids. Sound familiar?
We know you’re ambitious, and you've got shit to do. BUT. We think you should be having more fun and here’s why:
Studies show that fun makes you smarter and more creative. In part, this is due to the stress reduction that happens when we do something we enjoy, but beyond that, fun is said to improve language and even math skills! When we let our guard down and relax, creative ideas flow more naturally. Ever have good ideas while on a run or in the shower? That’s because you’re not worried about what others are thinking. So, have more fun! Your business will thank you ;)
Another reason to have more fun is the positive effect it can have on relationships. Having fun with loved ones builds trust and strengthens communication. Relationship experts from the Gottman Research Institute found that couples who know how to have fun together are happier than those that don’t. Furthermore, they found that the more laughter and affection we experience together, the better our conflict resolution skills are.
Girls just wanna have fun (and work, and be a mom, and go to CrossFit…)
Most women know that having fun is important, but very few women actually have it on a regular basis. So, if you’re reading this blog thinking, yeah right. When? Just know that 1) you don’t need a ton of time, and 2) fun looks different on everyone. Your idea of fun could be a day at the amusement park, or it could be a relaxing 30-min. bath. Much like self-care, fun is totally personal.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas:
- Book a weekend getaway with your SO to somewhere neither of you have ever been.
- Take yourself on a solo date to the movies. (Buy the big popcorn!)
- Grab coffee with a friend who makes you laugh.
- Treat yourself to a good book and a glass of wine.
- Attend a concert with a group of friends.
- Throw a Chopped-inspired cooking party.
- Go thrifting and find some vintage gems.
There’s no right or wrong here. As long as you’re relaxed and having fun (aka not working, chasing your kids, or doing a Target run) then it counts ;) The key here is to prioritize having fun by scheduling it in like you would a meeting or a doctors appointment. Despite our busy schedules, even the smallest amounts of joy will give us big benefits. Stanford University happiness expert Emma Seppala said, "If we focus on boosting fun and happiness in our lives, even in little ways, research suggests we can end up more productive, charismatic, energetic, and innovative."