April 22, 2024  by Linda Wattier
April 22, 2024  by Linda Wattier

What springs to mind when you think of fun? Do you dismiss it as frivolous, believe you don't have time for it, or even question its nature?

Or, perhaps you have a nagging voice in your head that insists you must earn fun as a reward for productivity, and only after every task on your to-do list has been checked off?

I get it; life can be demanding. But here's the thing: fun isn't a luxury—it's necessary for a more balanced, fulfilling life.

Admittedly, focusing on fun will likely only happen once our basic needs are met. However, creating space for fun doesn't require exotic getaways or expensive gadgets. It can be as simple as sliding down a snowy slope or belting out a favorite tune.

Author Catherine Price explores the topic in her book "The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again," sharing insights on infusing more of it into your life. Price defines true fun as a blend of playfulness, connection, and flow.

Playfulness is about embracing spontaneity and letting go of perfectionism. It's about cultivating a sense of lightheartedness and freedom.

Connection involves feeling engaged with the activity at hand, whether with your own body, a loved one, or a shared experience that brings people together.

Flow is that immersive state where time seems to slip away because you're fully absorbed in the moment.

True Fun Nourishes the Soul

True fun isn't about fleeting distractions; it's about nourishing our souls, fostering connections, and replenishing our energy reserves long after the moment has passed.

For example, one fun activity for me is a brisk solo walk in my neighborhood just before sunrise. As dawn breaks, the symphony of birdsong is spectacular and never fails to lift my spirits.

I take my camera and, after a 25-minute walk, I arrive at a point on the trail directly facing the lake where the sun rises over the foothills in the distance and is reflected in the water. Often, I am gifted with a stunning display of nature's beauty like this one:

Sunrise walks always make me feel free, connected, grateful, and fully alive. I have found that this boosts my energy enough to better tolerate something draining later in the day.

It happened just recently when an afternoon phone call with my dad, who has extensive vascular dementia, was awkward and sad. I was so glad I had enjoyed my morning walk as a counterbalance to the sadness.

To cultivate more fun in your life, Price suggests following the SPARK acronym:

  • S: Make space for fun by unplugging from distractions and scheduling dedicated time for enjoyment.
  • P: Pursue passions without pressure, exploring interests and letting curiosity guide you.
  • A: Adopt an open mindset to attract fun and embrace spontaneous opportunities for joy.
  • R: Embrace a bit of rebellion by stepping outside your comfort zone and challenging societal norms.
  • K: Keep at it! Like any skill, finding joy takes practice and persistence. Don't be discouraged if one activity doesn't click—keep exploring until you discover what truly lights you up.

So, whether it's a simple walk in nature, diving into a new hobby, or joining a laughter-filled gathering, make space for fun—it's the key to feeling alive again.

Why Having Fun Is the Secret to a Happier Life | TED Talk

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Photos by: Mark Evans (#1)  & Linda Wattier (#2)


About Linda Wattier

Founder and Bold Wellbeing Coach at How She Thrives. I help women over fifty design their most authentic, meaningful, and fulfilling experience of midlife and beyond.

How to Thrive in Midlife and Beyond

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