As we mature, our idea of fun tends to leave behind our elementary school playgrounds and college parties to encounter a territory that lives alongside deadlines, dentist appointments, and dry-cleaning pickup. But it shouldn’t end with youth. Come adulthood, play helps us break away from stresses like work, relationships, and feelings of stagnation by allowing us to tap into experiences that let us feel pleasure, be ourselves, and act without judgement. There’s a lot of good to be had with fun. So how do we make time for it?
Kids teach us that there doesn’t have to be a reason behind our actions other than the sole purpose of enjoyment. When you spend time with a child, let them take the lead, whether you’re building forts out of sheets and couch cushions or listening to old school hits they haven’t heard before, but still know all the dance moves to pair with.
Make a list of the fun activities you pursued in the past and highlight what still sounds appealing. If nothing sticks, Google “bucket list ideas,” or “fun things to do in (your) city.” From here, try taking one item from your list and scheduling time for it in the next two weeks. You’ve given yourself to-dos to pay bills, why not do the same with playtime?
If you find that your idea of fun focuses more on self-care than the excitement of roller coasters and rock shows, you aren’t missing out. It’s okay to relish in what you’ve already achieved, like a long work week behind you or the home you’ve worked tirelessly to build. Taking time to relax is a way to find gratitude in your current circumstances—like pulling on sweatpants for a Friday night on the couch. And why not? After all, your idea of fun has evolved, just like you.