Of course, there are tons of things you could be doing when you are alone. A couple of days ago, however, I wondered what I could do in order to have PROPER FUN ALONE! Laughing is important and healthy. We all know that. But when you are working a lot and spend much of your time on your own (especially when starting your solo business), it often happens that you spend much of your time alone. And it sometimes feels like you lost your ability to smile! I felt this way 2 or 3 weeks ago. I had to change my mindset a little. You can be a hard-worker, serious in your career – but still, be fun to be around! Reflect on this and make sure you allow yourself to be fun and funny.
“Alone time” happens often…
…planned, unplanned, happy or unhappy. When you spend too much time alone – especially when unplanned and unhappy – this can be a general downer in your life. Unfortunately, you will also tend to attract more negativity around you. We ARE LIKE MAGNETS that attract exactly what we send out to others. When I felt down and overworked, I noticed that it was taking me way over one hour to relax when meeting friends. I was loaded with workaholic electricity – or at least it felt this way! And that is problematic. You DO WANT TO BE PRESENT AND RELAXED right from the start when meeting your friends and family. Otherwise, this could damage your relationships in the long run, and you might feel lonelier, and lonelier… So, best is to start working on your happiness, even when you are alone. Laughing is a great tool – and here are tons of ways to have proper fun alone and get you laughing. I will be starting with the easier things, which you can start doing right away when reading this. Later in this post, you will find things that involve some sort of interaction with others and are clearly bolder. This post itself is intended to help you laugh. Hope you enjoy it!
1. Keep Smiling for at Least 180 Seconds
Smiling is extremely powerful. And the funny thing about it is that you do not even need to be genuinely smiling in order to rip most benefits of it. And if you FORCE A SMILE onto your face for a while, you will most probably end up laughing on your own! via GIPHY Try it out right now. Put a huge smile on your face and keep smiling for at least 3 minutes. Post a selfie of you fake-smiling here, on social media or send it to your friends and family for a fun-enhancing effect 😉
2. Make Funny Moves in Front of a Mirror
Several options here. You can try to “deconstruct” your body movements and see whether anything you are doing looks funny enough. Or you can try to improvise a funny little dance. To get inspired, listen to music that puts you in a happy mood, or that you also find funny by itself. via GIPHY But you can also have a lot of fun trying to copy the moves of animals. Monkey dance, frog jumps, crab side moves. You got it. Try to add some funny facial expression while doing this. If you don’t get to laugh hard, it will AT LEAST be a great full-body WORKOUT! Also, have you ever heard of ECSTATIC DANCE? Do not worry, there is absolutely nothing illegal about this. The idea is simply to dance like no one is watching, and fully embrace the music you are hearing and its effect on you. Not only can it look or feel funny, but it can also give you a great feeling and even feel meditative. So, go ahead and DANCE LIKE NO ONE’S WATCHING (because no one is…).
3. Sing Out Loud on a Song that You KNOW is NOT Made for You
There is always at least one song that you absolutely love, but cannot really sing to as it is totally out of your voice range. Well, now is the time to hit that playlist and sing to it! For this purpose, the perfect song for me is Cheek to Cheek by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. The first part is too deep for me, and the second is most of the time WAY too HIGH for my voice range. Good fun. Nice side effects are feeling happier through the singing and training your voice to new octaves outside its comfort zone.
4. Try to Copy a Serious or Romantic Dance
Have you ever dreamt of being able to dance like the heroin in the movie Dirty Dancing? Have you always wanted to be as gracious as a ballerina? Now is your chance! Find the movie or video, watch the dance again, and go ahead and see how well you can imitate bits and parts of it. It is best to also adopt corresponding facial expressions.
5. Read Funny Jokes and Quotes
Luckily, the internet is a great source of funny jokes and quotes. We tend to forget this when rushing through or emails, the latest news, and tips to become more productive. Go ahead and search for “funny jokes” or “funny quotes”. Chances are that you will prefer jokes revolving around things you know well. If you are not too enthusiastic about your work life, hit “funny workplace quotes”. If you feel lonely and have a good sense of self-irony, look for “funny alone quotes”. You get the idea. Make sure to save the best ones on your computer. Then print them out, and put them on your desk, wall, fridge – or anywhere you will see them often in order to cheer you up every day.
6. MINDFULLY Watch a Funny Movie or Comedy
This is an obvious one. However, try to be mindful and, if possible, less passive while watching. Very often, we just start watching TV, movies, series, YouTube as a default. We feel bored, lonely, tired, stressed… And the quickest answer that comes to our mind in order to relax or lighten up is: let’s watch something! Well, I suggest that: you should NOT WATCH “SOME” THING. IF you decide to go down this road, you really should WATCH “THE” THING. Filter out the movies and videos that REALLY make you laugh a lot, or feel better, or add a new edge to your thinking… So, while watching that comedy, observe yourself. Are you really liking it? Are you really laughing a lot? Which moments are the funniest to you? Why? Not only will it help you be pickier in the future, choose quality over quantity and filter out things you should not watch because they really just are a waste of your time. You will gain great inside about yourself, your humour, and potentially increase your laughing rate in the future.
7. Reminisce the 10 Funniest Moments of Your Life
Memories are a great way to tap into DEEP EMOTIONS. Try to think of the 10 funniest moments you have ever experienced in your life. It could be moments that happened at work, doing sports, dating… But you can also think of moments that really made you laugh because of more external factors, such as funny news that happened at a political event, sport event, or anything else. One of the funniest moments to me was when I was doing a 10-day trip around Ireland with my best friend. Of course, like in funny movies, we had to have a flat tire doing the trip. But while my friend was a little stressed out, I was in such a good mood that day that I was making fun of literally everything. A nice old Irish farmer (whom I could barely understand) asked us whether we needed help. After exchanging 2 or 3 sentences he said (from what I could catch!) “Well, you two ladies do not seem so depressed despite the flat tire!”. I answered promptly “Oh no, not at all! That’s our way of meeting local people here!” What’s YOUR funniest moment? Go ahead and try to reminisce. As a nice little side-effect, this exercise will help you train your memory and also focus on the positive and funny aspects of life. You can finish this reminiscing session by being grateful for each of those moments you have had the chance to live so far. Scientific research showed that gratefulness improves people’s happiness dramatically.
8. Make Funny GIFs about the 10 Funniest Moments of Your Life
If you have the time and feel energised by all these memories, reach out to your friends and family and remind them of those moments. But you can even go further and GET CREATIVE: create a quote, meme or GIF that perfectly illustrates one or a couple of these moments. I guarantee that the creative process itself will be 100% fun for you. Then share with your close ones!
9. Watch a Movie that is SO Bad You Can’t Help But Laugh!
When we want to be cheered up, we normally tend to think of watching comedies of all sorts. But sometimes, it is even funnier to watch a movie that is so bad you can’t help but laugh! I discovered this “practice” when I was still a student. Back then, we were on a weekend trip to the sea with a few friends. In the late afternoon, two of my friends started debating about which movie was the worst. When they finally had come to an agreement, they declared “great, now let’s watch this one!”. Seriously? Needless to say, I was not really enthusiastic about the idea of watching a movie they had just ranked as “the worst ever produced”. We poured ourselves some beer and wine generously and started watching. It was AWESOME! Honestly, I would have loved to share the name of the movie here, but I was unable to find it. It was a really small production from some small Asian country. The movie started with a Dutch looking Hercules, throwing around some obviously fake rocks. This, by itself, was already pretty funny. But then, it got even better. Dialogues made no sense. Hercules would say something to his lover, she would stare at him for an awkwardly long time, and then answer something that had NOTHING to do with his part. I really, really had a BLAST! Find some inspiration on BuzzFeed or other similar websites, pick one movie, pour yourself a nice glass of wine, and enjoy.
10. Have a Self-Ironic Conversation with Yourself (Aloud)
If you are in one of those moments when you actually did not want to end up spending your time alone, you can decide to turn the whole situation into a comedy. I sometimes do this. Best is to start talking out loud to yourself. Be honest about how you feel and speak it out: “Oh it really sucks, I feel quite alone.” Start adopting a second voice, as if you were having a proper dialogue with yourself. But this second voice should be funny, cheerful and with a hint of self-irony. “I thought I needed some time by myself, and … here I go! Be careful what you ask for” 😉 Keep talking, it will both help you be more honest with yourself since you allow the first voice to express your feelings and find perspective in a funny way.
11. Style Yourself to Look and Feel Funny
A good way to kickstart a funny moment of your own is to head towards your closet and find out the most ridiculous clothes or combination of clothes. You could wear high heels with jogging trousers, or your pyjama top with a high-class skirt. Is there any ridiculous item hidden somewhere? Wear it! Add funny make-up on top. For instance, you could totally mess up with your eyebrows, make them look huge or give them a strange shape. Draw yourself a moustache. Now to your hair. Make it look like in the ’80s. Take a selfie of yourself in each of those cool creative outfits. Create a hall of fame! If you dare, share it with friends and family… You can create a meme here too. A good side-effect of this exercise is that you will notice how much stuff you still have that you could probably get rid of…!
12. Use Funny Mind Wandering When Taking a Stroll in the City
Now let’s combine the benefits of walking with fun alone time. Go out and pay attention to every detail, and especially humans and pets around you. Pay attention to funny details around you. And if nothing special draws your attention, get creative. Pick one passerby and start imagining them in a funny situation. Maybe they sang to themselves in the shower this morning, waking up their neighbours. Or they are secretly in love with the cafe barista, or with you! Maybe… If you need inspiration, watch the movie “Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain”, especially this scene. Get out and just imagine.
13. Come Up with Funny Quotes and Rhymes
For the sake of this article, I am going to try and lead by example. When I decided to start blogging, because it felt so much better than jogging, I started wearing legging(s), Like all hipster girls trending… OK, I reckon those are maybe not my best creative 5 minutes… But you can come up with some really funny quotes and rhymes, and share them if you feel like it!
14. Funny Looking Food
Have you ever made funny words or sentences with the letters in your alphabet soup? Or found that your broccoli and sunny side up eggs were smiling at you? Whatever you are about to cook for yourself, there should be a way to make it look funny! For each course, you can take a picture and share with your friends…
15. Draw Funny Pictures and Imagine How They Get Sold for $10,000
Take a pen and paper, and just draw simple silly stuff. Imagine how the crowd applauds and you get to make a speech about the deep meaning of your work. Did you draw a smiling stick figure? Explain how difficult your sticky figure’s life was, and how you are representing its “renaissance” into a better life after he got a second chance… Running out of ideas? Get some inspiration by checking those expensive artworks.
16. Select the Funniest Photos and Videos on Your Phone and Computer
Chances are, your phone and computer are already a great source of fun with you, even without the internet. Nowadays, we are bombarded with new things every day. So much so that we tend to forget about the good things that happened in the past. Studies have shown that browsing social media (e.g. Facebook) actually tends to make us more miserable. This is often because we tend to compare ourselves to what others display online. However, we tend to compare our image of ourself RIGHT NOW to the – selected – image others display, or have displayed, at precise moments where they were particularly happy or lucky. But you have had these moments, too! Block one or two “alone time” hours to CHERISH the moments of your life that were extremely fun. Find pictures and videos of yourself with friends and family, laughing or doing something silly. Once again, it can be great to share this and to make a small collection – either electronically or in print – of your best moments.
I do not shop often, but when I do, it often turns into a FUNNY-SHOPPING session. What do I mean by that? I love to go to shops that have funny stuff to sell. Some objects are funny enough for me to have a blast just like that. Others require a bit more imagination. But it turns out that even a regular clothes shop is enough to have a great laugh (depending on current fashion trends). Try it out! It also takes some seriousness out of the whole consumer behaviour. You take some distance and actually realise how crazy our current society is…
18. Buy a Funny Gift for a Friend or Family
When alone, you can also focus on making a nice (or funny) gesture that virtually reconnects you with your close ones. For instance, you can think of a gift that would be really funny for a friend or family. You can decide to have it sent to them right away (with or without note, as sometimes it may be funny to actually have them wonder) or keep it for the next occasion. After all, this could help you prevent the crazy Christmas rush. For my brother, I found a great T-Shirt with a cat disguised as superman and the word “Cätman!!!” on it. I had to laugh so hard when buying this item, thinking of his face when receiving the gift. And it worked! He wears it a lot…
19. Take a Stroll with an Imaginary Friend (and See How Others React)
Now we are slowly diving into more difficult things to do when you are alone, but which could turn out to be great fun. They do require more courage, though. Imagine having a good (or bad) friend taking a walk with you on the streets. Now, have a conversation with him, look at him in the eyes (as you imagine him), share food with him. Get two coffees, for you and your friend… See how others around you react. It may be really interesting and get quite funny. Please, if you do this, do share your story in the comments!
20. Call Random Phone Numbers or Chat with Streamers
If you dare, try out some random phone numbers and present yourself with a particular story. Are you looking for an apartment to buy? Or for your lost cat? Imagine a scenario and stick to it. Some people may have a good enough heart to be willing to help you… Another option that can be quite fun is to go on a streaming platform such as twicth.tv and start chatting with streamers. Probably best for this purpose is to pick new streamers, that do not yet have a big following. They will be happy to have someone watching and chatting with them. You can even try to come up with funny interactions! I was streaming a little bit in the past, and someone came in my channel saying “be careful, you have almost reached your quota of hours of streaming and will be banned by Twitch if you do not stop right now!”. My first reaction was “oh, what?? seriously??” But then I thought “hang on, that’s not really in the interest of Twitch. That’s actually the contrary of what they want”. But it made me laugh so hard! That was a really good joke…
21. The “One-Weird-Word” Game
What word would always be weird enough to place in a conversation? “Superman”, “Unicorn”, “Rainbow”. Pick one word, and make it your task to go out on the streets, get a coffee or anything and place this word in the conversation with the cashier or someone in the line…
22. Do a Funky Move at Random Times
Work on a funky move of your own. It can last just 2-3 seconds. And set an alarm that makes you do this move at random times in the day. Do it when walking on the streets, at a shop, at home when watching a movie. The situation will most likely feel so awkward that it will make you (and those around you when that’s the case) laugh!
23. Pretend You Are Someone Else
Who would you like to be? Or who would it be funny to be? A successful entrepreneur? Superman? A cat or a unicorn? Do you have a disguise? Wear it, even if you are at home! If you have no costume, still try to think and move like you are that other person or animal. Do it with the intent to either have true fun or just experience being in someone else’s skin for a while. Obviously, this gets even better when getting out and interacting with others (strangers or acquaintances).
When writing this, my intent was really to help you have a burst of laughter even when alone. I wanted to get creative in the ideas that you could apply. I later realised that some of the above items may not be easily actionable, and maybe do not fit my bigger vision for this site – where I would like people to be inspired and able to take concrete steps towards a “simpler mind”. Letting loose of the chaos in their head and live a better life, where freedom starts in your mind. I will try to improve my efforts to help you in that endeavour in future posts. Please also help me by letting me know what works, what pains remain, and how I could help you better. Best, Anja
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