Word-Of-the-Week #820: FUN

April 29, 2020 by  

Funa source of enjoyment, amusement, or pleasure.

When was the last time you felt enjoyment? Or did something that brought you pleasure? Are you playing any board games?

This week features the second half of LA Times Travel Editor Catharine Hamm’s articleBored at home? How to cope and overcome ‘the nothing to do’ syndrome while travel is postponed.” 

To Recap: “Feeling bored, disoriented and cranky now that you’ve put your travel plans on hold and your suitcase away? You have company — lots of it. For many of us, travel has its own rewards, including its role as a stress reliever. 

Now what? Most of us are staying closer to home, by design or edict, and the absence of travel’s pleasures can lead to boredom, which, Forman said, is a common complaint. 

Play Reconnect 

  • Look ahead. “Plan, plan, plan, imagine, get ready!” said Rebecca Kiki Weingarten, co-founder of and educational director for RWRNetwork.org, a nonprofit for people and groups in what she calls “suddenly changed circumstances.”

“Use this time to plan travel in ways you haven’t before,” she said in an email: Maybe a deep dive into the destination. Maybe learning a bit (or all) of the language, trying out some recipes, learning about the culture in a way you haven’t before, scoping out out-of-the-way sites that you wouldn’t have thought of, studying native art, fashion, styling, sports that you can check out before you go.” 

  • Fill the void with fun. “Boredom leads to negative thoughts, feelings and behaviors: ruminating, worrying about a pandemic we can’t control, keeping a count of illness found in your neighborhood, constantly taking your temperature and being paranoid about symptoms,” Weingarten said.

“Boredom can lead to anxiety and compulsive behavior — eating/drinking too much and worse. 

“So I always recommend to clients and groups to ‘substitute.’ Can’t do this? Do that. Don’t enjoy this? Try that. And so on. Nature abhors a vacuum, so fill the time, energy, space with good, fun, interesting things.” 

  • Look back and be grateful. The reward, Forman said, is “the ability to actually sit with one’s memories and really remember the wonderful experiences.”

For instance, he grew up in Tampa, Fla., and Walt Disney World was a destination he looked forward to. The theme park may have been wonderful, but one time the family got caught in a thunderstorm and were so soaked that they had to buy new clothes, something he remembered with pleasure.

“Just remembering how fortunate you were to have experienced what you did can fill you with a kind of gratitude that we sometimes forget,” he said. 

He just canceled a spring vacation with his family. “When we [do] go away, it will be that much sweeter,” he said. 

The pandemic won’t last forever. It will end, he said. And then …

“The next time you’re on vacation and you see the most extraordinary view, bookmark it,” he said. You’ll be able to say, “‘I saw it, I experienced it. It was wonderful.’” 

Then summon it, he said, when you need it most.”

This week’s focus is on having some FUN! Have you planned any travel for when this is all over? Have you tried any new or interesting things? Are you able to be grateful for wonderful experiences and the memories that go with them?

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