Amid the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s all too easy to get caught up in must-do tasks and forget the power of having a little fun. With everything else you have to do, it could even feel like a luxury you don’t have time to enjoy. But having fun with your loved ones may just be the best medicine for everyone. Having fun while doing one of these five things can help reduce stress, boost positivity and nurture closer relationships.
Play a Game
Rain or shine, you can always count on a game to get the fun rolling. Even better, playing games is an activity that’s more than just fun. Not only will you be able to relax and hopefully have a few laughs, but research has also found that there are some solid benefits to playing games. Playing games together helps everyone feel more connected, which can increase feelings of happiness and resilience. Other benefits include building self-confidence, increasing patience, boosting concentration and improving decision-making skills.
- Video games on any type of console, including handheld
- Board games like Monopoly, checkers or chess
- Card games like poker or rummy
- Word games like 20 Questions or Two Truths and a Lie
Plan an Outing
Getting out of the house with your love ones gives everyone something to look forward to and a break from the normal routine. Not only do outings help you build memories together, they also can give you both a mood boost. Outings – even a short drive or a trip to the grocery store – can also help improve emotional health, immune response and cognitive function.
To keep things high on fun and low on stress, we recommend planning things around your loved ones ideal timing and physical capabilities. Choose options that are going to meet both of your needs to ensure success. For example, you might opt to go shopping at an off time to avoid large crowds. Some ideas to consider include:
- Going for a drive, out for a meal or to an event
- Taking a walk in the park or in your loved one’s neighborhood
- Signing up for a book club or fitness class
- Volunteering in the community
Take a Walk Down Memory Lane
Who’s to say you can’t have fun no matter what you’re doing? Whether you’re relaxing together or chatting while you tend to your loved ones’ needs, you can make things more enjoyable by reminiscing together or asking questions to learn more about your loved one’s past. You’ll both feel more connected and engaged. You might discover nuggets of history that you wouldn’t otherwise know. This could even help you learn about a favorite activity, movie, record or book that you can enjoy together.
Work on a Project or Hobby Together
Putting your loved ones’ needs before your own is a big part of being a caregiver, but when you take time for shared hobbies, it can leave you both feeling more relaxed and recharged. Research shows that having a hobby can also enhance problem-solving abilities, learn new skills and connect with your loved ones in a meaningful way. You already spend lots of time together. Why not use some of it to:
- Work on projects like creating albums or videoing important stories and memories
- Complete jigsaw puzzles or put models together
- Baking or collaborating on a recipe book for the family
- Creating homemade gifts
- Art, music or writing
Whether it’s chair aerobics or taking a leisurely walk, incorporating exercise into your fun time is beneficial for you and your loved ones. Not only can it help you sleep better, it also helps promote a calmer, clearer mental outlook while enhancing a healthy appetite. For your loved ones, it can also support mobility, provide an increased mind-body awareness and make them feel happier overall. Even simple breathing exercises and gentle stretching provide stress-relief.
Adding a little fun to the mix can benefit both you and your loved ones. There are so many ways to incorporate these suggestions in ways that meet your needs and accommodate the people you care for. You already spend time together, why not fill some of it with extra joy and laughter?