Watch any TV show based about young people having fun and, more often that not, you are going to see three things : casual sex, copious amounts of alcohol being consumed and people taking drugs. You might also encounter pressure to behave in this way in order to have fun from a surprising number of sources including elder family members (parents are really good at this. All glory days nostalgia), friends (peer pressure dun dun dun) and other forms of media like magazines, music, books for young adults, etc. Taken all together, it can begin to seem like having fun is something that should be X rated once you reach your latter teens. It can feel like taking part in these things is the only way to ensure you don’t waste your youth, that you don’t waste the time you have with no responsibilities and few worries. If you are prone to bouts of worry, you can even begin to see yourself as an elderly person sitting fuming at yourself for not making the most of your youth.
But what about when you factor in a chronic illness? How about when your hangover lasts four days instead of one because it takes your body longer to recover? Or when you just don’t have the energy or inclination to pull yourself out of bed, away from your favourite movie and a hot water bottle, not to mention that hot chocolate with marshmallows, to go parading around town getting all drunk? Or when your medication means you can’t drink, or you don’t want to, and the thought of sitting watching everyone else sliding towards a drunken stupor seems like the very last thing you want to do?
Well then you have to take that image of the irresponsible partying youth and smash it round the head with a large club. You have to tell your family and your friends that you love them, but you are just plain old done with that. You redefine your view of fun!
5 Ideas for fun stuff that is non-isolating but will not harm your health
1. Host an alternative party.
These can include any number of fun activities such as:
- a planting party where everyone brings a flower or seeds
- a good old fashioned movie night
- a pet party (especially good if you cannot own your own animal) where your friends and family bring their animals
- a painting party
- a make your own non-alcoholic cocktail party
basically the list is endless!
2. Nature meetups
Being in nature has been proven over and over again to improve mental health and have all kinds of benefits so planning a meetup in a low-key local green area is good for you in lots of different ways.
3. Skype calls
Using technology to make life easier is fun. If you don’t feel up to meeting anyone or going anywhere but feel a bit lonely, then skype away!
4. Day trips
If you are feeling a bit stronger, avoid shopping and instead opt for a trip that recalls childhood days out. Museums, aquariums and art galleries are all good options.
5. Make a zine!
Making a zine means you get all the goodness of creativity, yet you end up with something that is tangible and can be sent out into the world, bringing you back new friends and swap partners.
Kimberley is obsessed with grunge, smash books, escaping reality, colouring in, tiny creative projects and journaling. Officially sanctioned lover of chocolate and stickers.