Healthy Mind Self Care

Self Care Tip: Laughter :)

January 24, 2017

Hello everyone!
I was struggling with what to write about this week. To be perfectly honest, this past week has been a little rough for me emotionally. Normally my anxiety and depression are managed pretty well through a combination of coping strategies and medication, however this past week my depression was out in full force. This is something that is kind of hard for me to share publicly but, what is blogging without sharing yourself. 
Anyway, this past week I have been struggling with motivation. Struggling with energy. Struggling with normal conversation. My head has kind of been in a fog and I felt like I would have been perfectly content sitting on the couch and mindlessly watching old reruns of Greys Anatomy or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Thankfully I was able to pull myself together each day with enough energy to get to work and pay my bills, but most nights ended with me in bed between 8 and 8:30 and consisted of lots of laying and TV. 
This all changed last night. I was starting to feel a little bit better yesterday. The fog was starting to lift some. I asked my husband if he would like to play some games with me that evening. He agreed. I pulled out the normal UNO and Bananagrams that have filled our game nights in the past but he had a different idea. He suggested that we play a game called Guesstures. Now if you’ve never heard of this game, it’s like charades with a timer and you have 4 different things to act out before your time is up. We started playing and the results were instant. LAUGHTER. It did not matter if we guessed correctly, if we acted out the word in a convincing way, it was instant laughter. And man did I feel great after that. We kept playing and time flew so fast. It was 10 before I was in bed and I didn’t even feel exhausted. 
So today, the self care tip is laughter. There is a plethora of reasearch about the benefits of laughter. There is such a thing as Laughter Yoga which according to Wikipedia is “prolonged voluntary laughter”. It’s a structured environment with laughter prompts that gets you laughing and experiencing the physical benefits of laughter. 
7 Benefits of Laughter (credit to Gaiam.com)

  1. Lowers blood pressure
  2. Reduces stress hormones
  3. Works your abs
  4. Improves cardiac health
  5. Boosts T-cells – Help with immune function
  6. Triggers the release of endorphins
  7. Produces a general sense of wellbeing

How can you incorporate laughter into your daily lives this week? Below are a few ideas:

  1. Watch a comedy on TV or a movie
  2. Watch some standup comedy
  3. Play a game of Guesstures with family or friends
  4. Ask your kids/friends/family to tell you some jokes
  5. Look up a laughter yoga class in your area and attend
  6. Sit across from someone and try to draw their face without looking at your paper, have them do the same. Swap pictures and see what your self portrait looks like. 
  7. Get a group of friends together and play games, it’s my experience that laughter occurs naturally in these situations. 

Wishing you laughter and peace this week
Kylee Alyse

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  1. As an anxious person I found this post weirdly soothing. Sorry, I mean knowing how much strength it can take to cope with it, I’m inspired by your efforts and the thought of playing board games too! Also get up and out to work but spend the rest of my time alone watching Netflix. (I wish Buffy was still on Netflix.) Tonight may pop a comedy on!

  2. Thank you for sharing this very timely post, January can sometimes contribute to low feelings as the excitement of November/December wanes, kudos to thinking outside the box and bringing laughter into the mix!

    1. That is a great point about feeling low in January after the excitement of the holidays! I didn’t think about it from that perspective but you’re right, now there aren’t nearly as many ‘obvious’ things to be looking forward to.

  3. Laughter truly is the best medicine. I’m trying to find more things, search them out as it were, to make me laugh. I want to be able to smile and laugh at the world every day. This was great advice, Kylee, thank you!

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