Remembering to Have Fun! – Ep.97

Creating Competent Leaders – Ep.96
July 5, 2023
Supporting Student Success – Ep.98
July 19, 2023

In this week’s episode, Melyssa explores the core principle of fun, discusses ways to nurture healthy work habits, shares tips to create balance in your work-life while remembering to find time to relax. 

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to The Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around equity, diversity, and inclusion. Each week, I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in the space. Let’s get started.

This week, we’re going to do something a little bit different. Every once in a while I like to do some mini episodes, and this week I decided that I should probably talk a little bit about fun. Some of you may know that I’m also co-hosting another podcast called More Business More Life, with Steve Napolitan, Jovanni Godina and Stephanie Vedder. And we are exploring all sorts of things typically aimed at socially conscious entrepreneurs, CEO founders, who have found a level of success but don’t have the life they want. We literally help them find out how to create millions more while working less than 40 hours a week. So it’s been pretty fun.

For me, somebody who really has come from a workaholic father. My mother was no slacker either, she was a registered nurse, and you know as I do that nurses are generally overworked, underpaid, and there is never enough of them to go around. So when I grew up, everything was always about making sure you had a healthy work ethic, and we always wanted to make sure that we could go the extra mile, do things in a way that allowed us to be promoted, work up the corporate ladder, if you will. And so my background, my father, he exuded that, he was a consulate businessman, always had a hustle on the side, and then eventually had his own business until he retired and passed away. But at the end of the day, I really started to think about fun. And working with the team that I am, fun is one of our core principles. And I have had my challenges around figuring out what fun actually looks like for me these days since I have always been accustomed to just working, working, working.

Whenever somebody talks about creating balance in their life, hopefully they’re talking about adding a little bit of fun into their world. So let’s talk a little bit about why is fun so important and how it enables and enriches our lives. It’s a simple word, but yet the impact on our lives is so profound. If I think about from childhood to adulthood, fun serves as a catalyst for happiness, laughter, memorable experiences. It’s literally the spice that flavors our day-to-day routines and adds a touch of magic to the mundane. So, seeing as how it’s an essential ingredient that infuses life with the excitement and joy, it really lets us be loose, spontaneous, and create long-lasting connections with others.

How many of you can remember specific memories because of the connections you had with others when you were having those fun times? Whether it’s playing games, exploring new hobbies, or just enjoying the company of somebody else? It is a universal language that brings people together, and it has the ability to transcend barriers and unite people from different cultures and backgrounds. So it’s a powerful tool for building bridges and fostering inclusivity.

This is one of the reasons I think you see a lot of times employee resource groups, business resource groups, they want to create events not only to educate and create community, but also to create memories, connections, bond with people that may not be people you normally see in the office or in your network. And let’s not forget about the positive impact of fun on our wellbeing. So engaging in fun activities releases those endorphins, those magical chemicals in our brains that make us feel happy and uplifted. It reduces stress, boosts our immune system and improves our overall mental health, allowing us to unwind, recharge, and really sometimes we have to embrace our inner child and escape the pressure of that adult life, even if it’s only for a little while. Sometimes when you work so hard, you forget about having fun. It’s like you grow up all of a sudden and you get older and you realize you aren’t having as much fun as you had before.

So I would encourage you in the midst of this summer, because it is going so fast, to really step outside your comfort zone, create a cultivating mindset that embraces curiosity, spontaneity, and embrace that present moment, find joy in the simplest things, and seek out those new experiences. Just be open to laughter, playfulness, and the wonder of the world around us. So let’s give ourselves permission to have fun. Surround yourself with people who share your enthusiasm for life, who inspire and uplift you. Amplify the fun factor exponentially by cultivating relationships that encourage us to laugh, explore, and celebrate together.

One of my favorite ways to have fun is by organizing some sort of themed costume party. I used to always think about doing big ball kind of gala type events, but the one that I love the most is like a masquerade party. And there’s so much laughter and creativity that you can create in whatever you want to do. Get outdoors, explore those outdoor adventures, hiking trails, take a bike ride, or even just have a picnic in the park. There’s something about being in nature, enjoying the fresh air, getting down to a beach, not even necessarily being in the water, but looking at it.

So, whether it’s a board game, you’re playing with your family, whether it’s just disconnecting from screens and engaging in a conversation with others, create some lasting memories and remember. So give yourself permission to enjoy a little more life this summer than you have last summer. Give yourself permission to dive in, take a break, recharge, get creative. Do something maybe you haven’t done before, even if it’s something small. Go to a painting class, do something you never do and just enjoy, connect with somebody you’ve never connected with and learn about other people. I hope everyone is having a great summer.

Thanks for joining me on The Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.