This is a picture of my step-father, Howard, just 3 weeks shy of his 80th birthday, waterskiing. Seeing him ski made us all whoop, cheer, and celebrate. Later that night, while working on a jigsaw puzzle and sipping wine, my mother brought us all into giggly fits as she quizzed us on random Montana trivia (how many of you can guess Montana’s state gemstone??) that she found on a postcard.
When writing my book on how to restore souls, I was acutely aware of the role of laughter, playfulness, and celebration in reimagined self-care. At several points during the intensely busy times while writing, I was convicted about my own long work hours. I had to remind myself to do fun things like:
· Listen to 80’s hits while walking instead of smarty-pants podcasts
· Plan game nights with friends
· Watch comedies that made me laugh.
Left to my own devices, I get way too serious and stressed in the face of deadlines and a packed clinical schedule. For me, levity and laughter really are the best medicine. But…during crunch times, I have to be intentional to get them. I become far too task-focused and intense otherwise.
As we move past vacation season, we do well to make sure we have enough levity, fun, and laughter in the midst of the crazy schedules that most families face in the fall. So, ask yourself:
· Have I been laughing enough lately?
· Am I/Is our family doing enough playful, fun things?
· What do I really enjoy that I could plan to do during this busy season?
The most soul-restoring self-care is the kind that is woven into our daily lives. Learning to keep lightness and joy in the days and weeks is one of the essential skills!