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Having fun – where does it rank on your endless to-do list?

August in Edinburgh is something else! If you haven’t had the chance to experience it before, then you should really go and give it a try. There’s nothing quite like walking through the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile, experiencing all of the street performers dressed in their marvellous costumes, having the most wonderful time whilst sharing their craft. It’s the norm to turn corners and bump into outrageously dressed performers who are just doing their thing!

What strikes me the most is the heightened and fun-filled energy around that time. People are genuinely having fun, and are there as pleasure seekers, looking to smile, laugh and have a good time.

It was the same when I taught in Primary schools. Any time we had the chance to dress up for a charity event, there was such a positive vibe felt by everyone around, and everyone’s craziness was almost normalised for that moment in time.

Lady dressed as a pirate in front of a school dinner plate.
Courtesy of Tony Smithers

Playfulness in the young, and in performers, is there for the world to see. But what about your playfulness? Are you playful? Do you have fun? I reckon that most of us nowadays don’t regularly play and have fun as much as we should. We are so consumed by business that fun seems to be the thing that is at the bottom of most of our to-do lists. We’ve got work, family stuff, kids clubs, shopping, dog walking, housework – I don’t need to tell you how it is! But having fun is probably the most impactful thing we can do for our wellbeing. It will lift our mood, get the endorphins going, energise us, make us smile, reduce stress levels, improve quality of sleep, improve memory function and our concentration, and it often requires us to be in the company of others in our fun-seeking quest, which boosts our social intelligence.

The pandemic, for some, forced their hands to create opportunities of fun using technology as a means to connect and share the experience. TikTok dancing became prolific as people filled their time with different things to do. For others, lock-down did the opposite. Not everyone had time on their hands, and fun was the least of their priorities. Others struggled with the impact of the financial challenges the pandemic brought them, robbing them of all joy. And sadly, those who lost loved ones had no space for fun alongside their painful grief.

Having come out the other end of those challenging times, where does fun now sit on your to-do list? If you’re anything like I was, it was at the bottom of the list. I’ve since learned to take regular opportunities to self-coach and check in with where I am. I like to use Oracle cards as a means to engage in self-reflection, and when I do, I often pick the cards ‘Take a Break’ and ‘Play’. Whether intuitive or just by luck, drawing these cards always seems to come at a time that serves me well; when I need to stop, take a break, and play. As the cards say:

A life’s work, not a season. Get off the treadmill.

and

Have Fun. Celebrate. Don’t be so serious.

Now self-employed it is important that I listen to those messages, even if only a timely reminder that I do need to stop and take stock. I need to ensure that I stay with high-energy to support my wonderful clients, and therefore I know I need fun in my life to ensure that is the case. I try to follow the principles of the DAKI model, which I use with my clients. The model is very simple, but effective, and uses the following headings: Drop, Add, Keep, and Improve. This can be used for so many different contexts, but when considering fun, the following questions are useful to help us make some room so that fun goes to the top of our ‘to-do’ lists.

  • What will you Drop to make room for fun?
  • What will you Add to ensure you have fun?
  • What will you Keep in your life as it already brings you fun?
  • And what aspects of your life can you Improve so that it is fun?

I challenge you to bring some (more) fun into your life. Try out the DAKI model and see what comes of it. Maybe you could do this as a family or as a team at work. See what you discover. I’d love to know how this goes for you, so please do email me, and let me know info@sharonsmithcoaching.co.uk

If you would like more individual help in making space for fun in your life, then please do reach out for a free 20-minute discovery call where I can share with you the positive impact coaching with me can bring you. Book your time slot here

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