As you read this, I am on my very first family vacation in Disney World!  My kiddo’s disability has made this trip next to impossible up until now, so we feel incredibly blessed to be able to go.  We’re even bringing the grandmas along!  (God help us!)

My personal goal for the trip is to reconnect with the kid in me.  When did we all start to take life so seriously?  While I meet plenty of happy and upbeat people, I also meet those that seem to have forgotten how to laugh and have fun.

This is the only shot we get folks!  So how do you re-connect with your “inner child” and find ways to rekindle the fun in your life?  Here are a few ideas:

1.  Remember when.  What memories bring back great images in your mind?    Really concentrate on remembering a great trip, day, or moment.  Sometimes, just thinking about these things is enough to turn around a bad mood.

2.  Create a bucket list.  Make a list of things you want to make sure you do before your time is up.  It could be riding a rollercoaster or calling someone you’ve lost touch with.  Make a list of things you want to do and keep it with you.  Make it a goal to accomplish these items sooner, rather than later.

3.  Stop waiting.  You’ll never have the perfect job, spouse, kids, or life, so you might as well find ways to enjoy the things you have.  For example, after I wrote that last sentence, I went and rolled around on the floor with my 12-year-old golden retriever.  Scratching her belly makes her leg do that funny kicking motion, and it always makes me giggle.  She’s certainly not the perfect dog.  She has epilepsy, horrible skin allergies, and the worst gas imaginable (seriously).  But she’s mine, and I’m going to find ways to love her up while she’s here.

4.  Find funny!  I absolutely love watching funny movies, comedians, and going to comedy clubs.  In fact, I try to stay away from movies and shows that bring me down.  If I want to be depressed, I can just watch the news.  Next time you rent a movie or order one from NetFlix, get one that will make you laugh!  If you listen to Sirius radio, listen to the comedy channel once in a while, or read funny books and articles.  Just find ways to laugh!

5.  Sing in the shower and dance in your car.  I would say dance in the shower, but you could end up in the E.R.  Loosen up!  Get a shower radio and find your inner Cher or Elvis Presley.  I absolutely love stopping at a red light, only to see the person in the car next to me jammin’ out and dancing in their car.  I used to get embarrassed when people drove up to me and I was doing the same thing.  Now I just smile and wave.

If all else fails, there are plenty of suggestions out there on ways to have fun.  Here’s a great article on 50 Ways to Have Fun for Under $15.  So by now I’m probably riding the Tea Cups or have the song “It’s A Small World” stuck in my head.  Either way, I can guarantee I have a smile on my face, and I’m being a big kid!  Make it a fantastic week!

P.S.  Please take a moment to visit my NAMI Walk team page.  Walking with us or making a small donation is a way to help NAMI educate, advocate, and reduce the stigma of mental illness.


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