All work and no play?

I’ve been finding my life has been all work and not a lot of play lately. Sure, this can mean being more productive, making more money, and feeling more successful but the truth is we all need some simple, good old fashioned FUN in our lives. Not just for our sanity and mental health, but our physical wellbeing, too.

Here’s how I like to add a bit of spice to life again, and keep things ticking over in the real world too.

Be spontaneous

We all have some kind of routine and while this might be good for getting things done, it’s not always a lot of fun. Being spontaneous from time to time can help break up the everyday stresses that most of us experience. If you find yourself in a routine rut, let it go for a while and do something different that makes you laugh to ease up on the stress.

Lose yourself

Go for an aimless stroll on the beach or around town, get some retail therapy and totally lose track of time amongst new shoes and gadgets (all that work helps pay for it, after all), or just leave the phone at home for a day. Ok, well that’s never going to happen, but maybe try flicking it onto flight mode for a few hours of digital reprieve.

Do something different

Mixing things up can bring a lot of joy to your life. You can discover a new way of doing things, possibly so you can do them even more effectively, and it takes you out of your comfort zone and challenges the norm. Here are just a few ideas:

 

  • Do a new workout - if you normally do spin - try yoga. Don’t feel intimidated by not knowing what to do. Everyone in that class started somewhere.

  • Call a long lost friend - if you haven’t spoke to a friend in a while, call them! Better yet, facetime them. Pull faces at them. Make it fun.

  • Throw a party - throw a spontaneous party for yourself, for a birthday, to celebrate a friend’s achievements, or just because! You can make it as casual or formal as you like. Booths like this one can make it super fun, too:  https://boothboyphotobooth.com/photo-booth-hire-central-coast/.

  • Dance - I’m partial to a good bit of apartment dancing, myself. Crank the tunes at home and get your wiggle on! You don’t even need pants. If you’re the more social dancer, try clubbing or a local dance group with friends. Start a new hobby - maybe you could get into jewellery making, or photography. Try something new!

If you’ve been all work and no play lately, make sure you change that. In no time you’ll start to feel more positive and productive! Start having fun for no reason other than because you can.

Wake up calls for life

Wake up calls come to us in different shapes and sizes. For some, it might be a medical result to kickstart a healthier way of living. It might be falling out with a friend that teaches you more about others or yourself. Or, in the case of the small hours of White Night this weekend, it might be having your phone and wallet snatched from your hands as you text your life away, completely unawares of what's around you.

Melbourne is wonderful. But it's a big city that's getting bigger and as with any big, wonderful city there comes the inevitable darker side of crime. Naturally, if you put yourself blatantly in the path of this crime, you face becoming more susceptible and vulnerable to it. Point in case at 4am Sunday morning as I walked down a darker, quieter part of Little Collins St under the false security of a city alive with activity. 

Complacency can creep in when you live in the lucky country. I'm always incredibly cautious when I travel overseas and it's usually with a sigh of relief when I return back to the comforts of Australia. But we are not bereft of our own increasing societal issues and the fact of the matter is that walking home at 4am on one's own is generally not a good idea in most cities. Sure, in a perfect world we should be able to walk home at whatever time we like without fear of consequence. Alas we do not live in a perfect world.

My mother taught me about personal safety from a young age; being conscious of your surroundings, not putting yourself in the line of danger, listening to your inner voice. However, a few too many wines, a fun night with trusted friends in a trusted city, added crowd comfort from a big event, and the distraction of a world on the other side of your vortex of a phone, can be enough to momentarily forget these essential life skills passed down.

So it's a time like now that acts as a good reminder and wake up call that, actually, we do live in a major city that has real and increasing potential for serious danger.

My little run-in with the city over the weekend could have been infinitely worse and it's a chilling, sad reminder of lessons that can never be learnt for innocent victims like Jill Meagher, who also simply chose to walk home along an often traveled path under the faux comforts of a busy Friday night around her and CCTV cameras.

I'm sharing this with you as a friendly reminder to never, ever get complacent when it comes to your personal safety or that of others. It's a wake up call that I want you to benefit from too, without you having to lose your phone, credit cards, confidence - or worse.

I do not agree with the advice from police for women to never walk alone. That is neither practical nor helpful. Being conscious of what's around you, assessing your surroundings and situation, and avoiding putting yourself clearly in harm's way, however, are absolutely doable. 

Correction: they are essential. 

From your resident city girl, stay safe Melbourne. Keep an eye out for you and others. 

LMM xoxo