Six Stress Busting Tips, Continued--

The Importance of Fun

By Kitty J. Boitnott, Ph.D., NBCT, Certified Life Strategies &

Stress Management Coach

This is the fifth in a series of articles written about how to minimize stress in your life by recognizing the importance of maintaining a sense of balance with good health habits. This balance can be achieved by incorporating the following habits into your daily routine: (1) staying properly hydrated; (2) eating for optimal nutrition; (3) getting adequate uninterrupted sleep;  and (4) exercising the body for a minimum of 30 minutes each day at least five days a week. 

Today's fifth "tip" is to have FUN! That's right...relax a little! We all tend to take ourselves way too seriously, and we need to lighten up a little.

Now, I am not suggesting that there aren't plenty of things in life that need to be taken seriously. Our health is certainly one of the things I recommend paying serious attention to if you want to minimize your stress. And I also recommend trying to maintain healthy relationships for a less stressful life. Nothing is more stressful than having a fight with your spouse or significant other, being on the outs with a sibling or child, or having a blow up with a colleague at work. All of these things can ruin what might be a perfectly fine day in every other way.

We can go a long way toward minimizing these stressors, however, by remembering that not everything is a matter of life and death, and even when we are faced with life and death situations like a bad diagnosis or gloomy prognosis, we can do a lot for ourselves by trying to see things in a brighter light. I dare say that for 99.9% of us, no matter how gloomy things may seem, if we really pay attention, there are lots of other people who have it a lot worse than we do. It is all about keeping things in perspective.

I recommend that you take some time everyday to do something that just makes you happy. It doesn't have to be a lot. It doesn't have to be anything that would make anyone else happy...just you. For me, some days it is just stopping at the local Starbucks for my favorite coffee drink. It costs a few dollars, but compared to how it makes me feel to indulge myself that little bit, it is a bargain.

For some of us, hanging out with our grandchildren is the ticket. Listening to the laugh of a child, playing with our pets, talking to a friend on the phone...these are all things that one can do that don't cost anything but can bring a smile to your face and lift your spirits if you just give them a chance.

Life is meant to be enjoyed. It is NOT meant to be a chore. It is not meant to be taken so seriously that you fail to enjoy yourself. All of the conventional wisdom of the ages points to the fact that when people are approaching the end of their days, the stuff that took up so much of their time and worry really mean nothing. What is important is the quality of our relationships with our loved ones, the time spent with those we care about and who care about us. LIVE YOUR LIFE! You only get one shot at it. The people we most admire are the ones who lived full out, who lived courageously and joyously. You can do that. It is a choice. Have fun. You won't regret it.

Kitty Boitnott
Boitnott Coaching, LLC

Glen Allen, VA 23060
United States of America