GO HAVE FUN! In the middle of a pandemic, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
By Jenniffer Jamison
Nope, I am totally serious. The stress of homeschooling, technology learning curve, lack of social contact with friends and family is the perfect reason to add a little fun to your current situation.
First – Fun is relative. You might not agree with my definition of fun. That is okay. You have to discover what fun looks like for you. I found an article on Fun written by Rebecca Crespo “Ten Simple Benefits of Having Fun”, on www.minimalismmadesimple.com. She states that there are two living creatures to look to for guidance on having fun, Children & Dogs. Think about it, she is right. Both children and dogs, explore new things, have a sense of wonder and play. They don’t take themselves so seriously.
Then, I thought, I need to prove the importance of having fun. Scientific proof that fun helps with learning and relieving anxiety, and everything else that goes with it. BORING. Reading all the data is itself the opposite of FUN!
Next, I thought I should take a look at the group of people this blog is written for, teens and their families. This is when I found some examples that took some ingenuity and thought. I will not bore you with facts about the frontal lobe and cognitive behaviors of teens. Needless to say, they don’t always think everything through. They also want to prove to the world that they are so grown up while really still being a child at heart.
Sixty days ago if you told me that Graduations were going to be postponed, college orientations go virtual and the possibility of not being on campus for the freshman semester was a thought, I would have told you that was CRAZY. Well, here we are.
Once the initial newness of the Zoom conference call wore off for my middle school student, we had to look for different ways to keep her engaged and interested. Middle School students are not the only people in this boat.
The more you dread something the less you will want to do it.
Add a little fun and like May Poppins says “Snap the jobs a game, and every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake, a lark a spree it’s very clear to see….Okay, finish the song. You know you want to ….”Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.”
You don’t have to look far on the internet for examples of how people are either dreading zoom calls or disrupting them. I love the one where the class made it look like they were passing a pencil from one window to the next.
Some people say that was a waste and a shame – I say what a way for teamwork. You know it took those kids some problem-solving skills to figure out how to make that a seamless process. Looking for the videos I found the same class had about 10 other videos posted with different ideas, dancing, sleeping, etc. Everyone had to work together to produce the outcome. And guess what — It was fun! While I am not encouraging kids to be disrespectful to their teachers or employees to their bosses, I believe the teacher was in on this. This is something they will share with others (clearly), talk about, have others talking about. I am sure something from that experience will help them in the future. So I say— Worth it!
There are times to be serious but I believe you have to add a little fun, especially in the current time of unknown anxiety and increased isolation.
While you are having fun you are also, learning, experiencing new things, sharing with others, team building, and problem-solving. Some might even say the exploration of fun, hobbies & interests can add to finding the right career path and building your college resume.
I asked our Facebook community what they are doing to have fun and below is a list of things that were shared.
- Get Moving– Run, Walk, Jump, Skip just start moving. Exercise helps with mood and energy levels.
- Get Outside – Something about nature that is calming. I am currently typing this blog outside and I have to say I feel inspired. Just look at that blue sky! Sunrise, sunset, meteor shower this month, and a couple of really cool Moons. Look it up.
- Get Together – In a socially distant way. There are ways to be with people. You cannot isolate yourself completely. Being with others will have a positive effect. Can’t walk 6 feet apart from a friend then take your dog for a walk.
- Play Games – UNO, Monopoly, Cards, Sorry, Trouble, Pictionary, Tabu, Trivial Pursuit, etc. I dare you to go find your family’s stash of old board games. Play one a week.
- Cook – Great time to learn your Mom’s recipes for when you go to school or try something new. Better yet grab the family recipe box on the back of the top shelf in your kitchen. Find the recipe handwritten by your grandmother and go for it. Just no bread — you will not be able to find the ingredients at the store right at this moment.
- Explore your Family – Ancestory.com is a great way to learn about your family tree. Too techy for you, then pick up the phone and call your grandparents, aunts, and uncles. Heck, ask your parents about when you were a little kid or better yet when they were a little kid. You will not regret this time.
- Explore a Hobby – Sewing, art, writing, dance, playing an instrument, learning a sport. Pick something you have wanted to learn for a while and go for it. You might find something you are really good at and a new passion.
- Help Others – You can find great joy in helping others. Find ways to help your family, neighbors, and community.
- Clean your room — Now some of you are calling foul – That is not fun! You never know what you are going to find at the bottom of that pile of clothes and clearing the clutter from your life might have a positive effect on your mood. I know your MOM will think that it is FUN! “Happy Mother’s Day?”
- BE YOU – Everyone has a different opinion on what fun is. Go figure out what that is for YOU and do it!
All of this requires action so GO have fun!