In a recent post I mentioned that sometimes we need to lighten up.
Come to think of it, the lighten up comment was aimed in my direction. I’m passionate about personal growth so I tend to get a little intense about it!
With that in mind, I thought a post on how to lighten up would be just the ticket. Here goes!
1. Be more spontaneous
A lot of achieving goals and making stuff happen is working to a plan. It’s planning, following through, following a process and all that good stuff.
Let’s scratch all that occasionally and do something completely spontaneous.
Many of us are guilty of over-planning. Anyone with school age children probably knows exactly what I mean here. I think its safe to say that some of our kids are massively over-scheduled.
Try being spontaneous. Go completely with the flow and see where it leads.
2. Laugh More
I can always tell when I am not laughing enough in my life. I get grumpy and a bit on edge.
We all need to laugh a lot more. I wrote a post on this exact topic, so check it out.
3. Dance around the house
I love a little impromptu dance in my kitchen. I don’t even need music on the stereo. Just a song in my head and some boogie in my hips and I’m off. It scares the hell out of the cat but I have a total ball. He’ll get used to it eventually!
Have a little dance around your kitchen today. Report back and let me know how it feels…
4. Sing baby sing
I don’t care if you can’t sing or if you a tone-deaf. Crank the music up and have a good sing along. Really belt out that tune.
If singing doesn’t suit your venue (you are in the office for instance) try humming instead. Hum your favorite song to yours hearts content.
5. Be childlike
Adults are often just too darn serious. I totally understand why – we have responsibilities and financial commitments etc etc etc.
We sometimes completely forget how to be childlike.
When was the last time you blew bubbles, played with a hola hoop, played hopscotch, played tiggy (remember that one, showing my age a bit there) or played any of the fun games you did as a child. Backyard cricket anyone?
If you have young kids you have no excuse for not being childlike. Get down on the floor and play with them at every opportunity. Get into it and roll around. Don’t give into that – I can’t do that I’m an adult crap! Don’t send your kids off to play by themselves – play with them.
6. Read to your children
Read from an actual book to your children. Take your time. Enjoy each other’s company.
7. Read more fiction
If you are like me and read a lot of non-fiction books, it might be time to put down the business books and grab yourself some fiction.
8. Watch a movie that you normally wouldn’t watch
We all have our taste in movies. Throw that to the wind occasionally and watch something that you normally wouldn’t watch. If it’s a comedy even better.
9. Enjoy your garden
Not everyone has a garden but if you do have one go out and enjoy your garden.
Notice I didn’t say go out and do the gardening or go out and think about all the work you need to do in your garden or stress about the weeds that need pulling out.
Go out into your garden and enjoy it. Taking a cup of tea/coffee or glass of wine is highly recommended.
10. Enjoy a brilliant view
Whether it’s the beach, a mountain top, a lake or a rooftop bar in the center of town. Find a spot with a brilliant view – sit, relax and do absolutely nothing but take in the view.
11. Cloud watching
When you were younger did you ever lie on the grass in your backyard and look up at the clouds? Did you look for animals and shapes in the clouds?
When was the last time you looked up at the clouds (and weren’t checking on the weather)?
If you have a backyard give it a try. No tech allowed – just you, the clouds and your imagination.
This one is similar to cloud watching. When was the last time you went outside and just looked up at the night sky for a long time marveling at how amazing it all is?
Granted we don’t see as many stars in the city but some are still visible. Trips out to the country away from the lights and pollution definitely provide the best star-gazing opportunities. Even more reason to take a trip out to the country occasionally.
13. Spend time with your pets
Savor the time you spend with your pets.
Give your pets plenty of love, affection and time and your efforts will be rewarded. Unconditional love = total bliss.
14. Eat a lollypop
Have a lollypop, Chubba Chup or toffee apple. I know, I know we are all supposed to be giving up sugar!
I’m not suggesting you eat one every day just have one every now and then. More to the point savor and enjoy it as the treat that it is. Remember what it felt like to eat them as a child.
15. Get in the water
I’m not talking about swimming laps for exercise. I’m talking about floating. Lying on your back in the water, shutting your eyes and listening to the sound of the water style floating.
16. Have a water fight
Grab your water balloons, water pistols, supersoaker or garden hose and have a good old-fashioned water fight
Depending where you live this might end up being a snow fight instead!
17. Switch up your creativity
If you are in a creative field or you simply like being creative, it might be time to switch up your creativity. By this I mean if you are a writer, it might be fun to try drawing or painting.
If you are not normally creative find something to get you started. Adult coloring books are all the rage at the moment if you wanted to start there!
18. Get out the board game
I recently heard that board games are selling up a storm. I was super happy to hear this! Turn the television off, gather the troops and grab a board game.
Again if you are a parent, don’t just send your kids off to play, play with them!
Get a massage (the gentle type not the one where they knead you into a plump). Have a facial or try something different like a hot stone massage.
Light some candles, put on your favorite music, lay back and relax and surround yourself in the music.
Get into full relaxation mode.
20. Ditch the technology
Get back to the basics of fun – ditch the technology for a while.
The stuff I mentioned above does not require a smart phone or tablet. Come to think of it, electronics ruins a lot of the things mentioned above (the exception being watching the movie).
Put the phone down for a bit and just play!
21. Stop watching so much news
I’m not suggesting being uninformed. I’m simply suggesting that you don’t binge watch news. It’s disturbing (highlighting and magnifying violence and negativity), not always accurate and sometimes biased.
Ditto on watching too much reality television. Don’t watch too much of this stuff or it will leave you feeling overcritical of people. Too much reality television will have you thinking that criticizing people and being mean is acceptable behavior – it’s not!
The vast majority of reality television is based on people being nasty to one another. The world doesn’t need more of that.
22. Slow down
Rush rush rush. Yep that’s us (me included) rushing from one place to the next, one task to the next. With all of this rushing, we often have no idea of the cool stuff that we miss seeing.
Try to slow down a little. Take more time with things (particularly the important stuff like spending time with loved ones). I know it can be hard but start small and see how you go.
Less rush, less endless busyness (less competing for the title of most busy) = more relaxation.
23. Stop thinking about money all of the time
I remember talking to a friend who had a good job and made a lot of money but I remember him telling me that he was always thinking about how to make more money. Always.
While ambition is great and making money is s-w-e-e-t there needs to be a shut off point as well.
I know a lot of us are under money pressure but sometimes for our own sanity we need to occasionally stop obsessing about money.
24. Stop thinking about work all the time
I’m guilty of this one at the moment. I’m getting ready to launch my first product in my newly resurrected business. I think about my work a LOT.
I realize while focus is necessary, so is relaxation and downtime. Make sure you have an off switch for thinking about work. Heads up if you are talking about work all the time – you are sure to be boring someone. Just a thought.
Such a small word yet so many of us have forgotten what it means let alone how to go about it. Chill, relax, do nothing but soak up the joy of the moment. That’s chilling!
Life throws enough serious stuff at us. Lighten up whenever you get the opportunity.
Learning to lighten up might be the best personal growth strategy you try today.
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