Serious Fun

Peg Breen: April 26, 20125 Comments

Fun.  It’s usually not the first word that comes to many people’s mind when they describe their workplace.   I think there are two possible influences for this.  The first might be how we were raised.   My parents never went to college, and worked extremely hard to raise four healthy children, and one special needs child, my oldest sister.   Even though I grew up in a wonderful loving home, there wasn’t a lot of laughter.  There was a serious daily hum of responsibility.  It took my son, Patrick to teach me about fun.

The second influence around having fun is the kind of business we are in.  Many of the patients and families who visit our facilities are stressed or worried, or gathering their courage for what is inevitable.  And so, for our patient’s sake, we honor them with respect and a seriousness appropriate for the situation.   In healthcare there is also a growing pressure to continuously improve and innovate.   All this adds up to a lot of stress.   Thank goodness for the joy of labor and delivery suites! 

So why is fun a serious issue?  Because, when we laugh our bodies release endorphins.  We have access to a chemical in the body 10 times as powerful as morphine and all it takes to release it is a big belly laugh.  Laughing temporarily increases our metabolism so we burn more calories.  Humor can even help us tolerate pain.  These are just the health benefits, but the work benefits are equally impressive. 

"Bowling King" Jim Stone from the Corporate HR Bowling group.
 

Dr. David Abramis from Cal State Long Beach has studied the effect of fun on the workplace and says that fun releases people’s creativity, improves decision-making, helps build relationships, and causes people to have fewer sick days. 

So, go bowling, commit to smiling more and build some fun into your week.  Share some of the ways you have added fun to your routine at work or at home, and the first 25 people to respond on the blog will receive a $5 Starbuck’s gift card. (Don't forget to include an email address or name -- if you are an employee -- so I know how to send you that gift card.)


5 responses to Serious Fun

Serious Fun

I'm going to Disneyland in 2 weeks. That will be a lot of fun!!! Also, I love to rubber stamp. A group of us gets together routinely and we call it our "therapy". At home during the week Ihibernate in my "she den" and work on crafting projects. The final thing that I routinely do for fun and which keeps me grounded is Mom's Night Out. A group of us from church try to go to a movie monthly and then go get coffee/dessert afterwards. We usually close down the restaurant we're at.


Fun

I make it a point to watch something funny at least once a day. Normally it will be an episode of "The Big Bang Theory". Hearty laughter is a good way to jog internally without having to go outside!


Fun that he doesn't want to have

During spring break, we took our 5 year old son to Universal Studios Hollywood. He kept asking us when were we going on the roller coasters (because we kept watching live shows). So we took him to The Simpsons Ride. He was really excited. We sat in the virtual car and he said, "Mommy, this is going to be fun!" The digital ride started and ended. His dad: Was that fun? Him: Yeah, that was easy! His dad: Wanna do it again? Him: No


How I Have Fun!

Not only do I work full time, I also go to school full time so my week is incredibly busy. Saturday and Sunday (Only if my homework assignments are completed)are the only two days I have to let loose and relax. My favorite thing to do is get together with my family and have BBQ's. It gives me a chance to spend time with my nephew (13) and two nieces. (9 months and 5 months) I play baseball with my nephew and teach my nieces how to make funny noises..or my recent accomplishment which I am very proud of...I taught my oldest niece how to say "Hi". For me, it is the simple things in life that I enjoy most and have the most fun doing!


Fun

I'm a huge advocate of fun and laughter! It's important to surround yourself with people who lift you up and like to have fun. I have found that in the friends I have made in the C-fit hiking group - you know who you are! I love being silly and having a good time and I can't wait until the next time we meet up!


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