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Prescription: Fun!

When was the last time you did something just for fun? Not because you felt obliged, not because someone told you you 'should', but simply because you had a yearning and you acted on it? For so many of us, life has become a series of lists, duties and responsibilities to uphold, a constant stream of "I must...", but at what cost? With anxiety and depression so prevalent in our society and chronic illnesses on the rise, there is a simple, joy-filled solution awaiting our engagement...

The healing power of fun and laughter is well documented. From reduction in pain, inflammation and stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenalin, to a good boost for the immune system, a little bit of fun goes a long way in the process of healing mind, body and spirit. It also brings us into the present moment and acts as a non-intentional, yet extremely beneficial state of mindfulness.

So how can we begin to incorporate a little more fun in our overly scheduled lives?

1. Give yourself permission - Perhaps the dishes are stacking up and the floors could do with a vacuum, but those things will wait. Often, when we give ourselves permission to play, we boost our energy and end up getting the mundane tasks done more efficiently anyway.

2. Learn something new - try a new language, a dance class, sport or musical instrument. Anything that your heart desires. Don't go into it thinking you have to be the best or master it in order to have fun, just give it a go and have a good giggle along the way. 3. Be a tourist in your own town - we often take for granted the very surroundings that we live in. When we travel we do things that for some reason, we would never think to do at home, even if they are available. So, take a day or a weekend to explore the nooks and crannies of your home town- you'll be amazed at what lies just outside of your habitual routines.

4. Play with your (or some one you know's) kids - let go of the need to plan and control the schedule for your kids. Let them take the lead and decide where to go and what to do, whether for an hour or a day. Immerse yourself in their world for a while rather than asking them to adapt to yours. Connect with your inner child and remember the simple pleasure of being a kid.

5. Go to a light hearted movie, comedy night or live music event - soak in the great vibes of a fun-filled community event. Whether you make it date night, family fun or even your own solo adventure, do something you wouldn't usually do. 6. Go on a roadtrip - close your eyes and point to a map- where does your finger land? Have you been there before? See what you can find on the way. Journeying off the beaten track can really get the creative juices flowing.

7. Throw a dinner party - create a theme night or a 'just because' gathering with special people in your life. Ask people to bring a plate to share or work your culinary magic and create an entire gourmet menu fit for the Queen. Use the fancy dinner wear, pop on a frock and adorn the table with candles and flowers. Make it as elaborate or as casual as you like, but the key is to keep it enjoyable, NOT stressful!

8. Blow bubbles, dance like no-one's watching or play dress ups with your very own wardrobe collection - There is loads of fun to be had without spending money. Just pop on some tunes, wiggle your hips and play with whatever is available at home! Try out different outfit combinations, hair do's and make up and do your very own fashion show. Or if you're more practically inclined, go out to the garage and whittle some wood, landscape your garden or paint the letterbox. Be creative and do something for the enjoyment factor, not the "I really should do that" factor.

When we allow ourselves to open up to joy and laughter, our hearts and minds expand and create a ripple of healthful energy that feeds and nourishes us from the inside. The flow on effect is often improved relationships, motivation, focus and quality of life- and that, is my kind of prescription!

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