03 Feb Find the Fun in February
Can you believe we are already in February? I certainly can’t. And yet, here we are!
February is always a bit of a challenging month for me. Although it is the shortest of the year, it often feels the longest, as spring is around the corner and winter is still holding on. The days are still short and I’m still hibernating to get through it. And that’s just how I feel when we are not in a pandemic. Continuing to deal with the limitations posed by the pandemic only adds to the challenges I feel. I imagine I’m not alone in that, either.
In January, we encouraged you to Journal. For February, we’re encouraging you to FIND THE FUN. Sometimes we really have to dig for it. When we find it, it’s all the more worth it.
Where to start?
- PLAY — As we get older, we often forget about the benefits of play. What a shame! Play provides amazing release from tension and allows us to shake off the heaviness of our days. We laugh more when we play, which also provides a wonderful endorphin boost. Today, as I’m watching the snow fall in NYC, I can only think about wanting to go make a snowman or run around with the dogs in the snow. Hopefully, I’ll find the time later to do just that.
- LAUGH — Laughter really is the best medicine. Research continues to show us the health benefits of laughter. Believe it or not, laughter helps soothe tension and relieves our stress response, allowing us to feel more relaxed. Additionally, laughter can actually improve our immune system (something we need now more than ever!). And we know that laughter can improve our mood. Activate your laughter—watch something funny, read a humorous column or story, surround yourself with entertaining people.
- BE SILLY — We all take ourselves too seriously. I know that I do. Being silly provides a freedom that I sometimes forget I need. When I embrace the silliness, I notice that I feel better overall. I’m more relaxed, more in tune and generally calmer. It’s easy to find the silliness in your day. Start with putting on some music and dancing around. Just go with it without judgment. See how you feel afterward.
When things around us continue to be fraught with anxiety and stress, it may feel frivolous to find the fun. Our bodies and minds need it, though, to continue to be sharp and focused. We need the release and recharge.
Your challenge, then, is to FIND THE FUN in FEBRUARY. You might find that the month goes by much more quickly if you do.
Authored by: Dr. Jennifer Hartstein