7 days to rediscover your inner silliness

Sometimes we forget to have a little fun; what can we do to get back in the habit of play?

5 min readNov 20, 2023

Day 1: Re-watch your favourite childhood film

A simple theme song can teleport us all the way back to childhood, so re-watching a film from our youth (the VHS tape that was most at risk of getting worn out) is a surefire way to bring back old memories. If you ever sat crossed-legged on the floor and marveled at the wondrous worlds of Harry Potter or Star Wars, you were giving yourself permission to dream.

Stop worrying about work in the morning and watch something that featured an adult acting silly in it (I’m looking at you, Jim Carrey), a humorous soundtrack, or anything else that made you giggle. My childhood favourites included Aladdin (1992), The Mask (1994), and Bean (1997).

Day 2: Play with your pet for an hour

If you don’t have a pet, play with a sibling or fight some strangers in a video game. The point is simply to play. I’ve always had cats in my life and — thankfully — I have one now (his name’s Bear). I try to make time to play with him every day, but it’s only when I dedicate a full hour or so that we have the most fun.

I’ll put on some music and run about, chuck toys everywhere, lift him up, and give him hugs. He loves it and tires out much quicker that way — because he’s fully engaged in the moment. There’s nothing on that cat’s mind except the excitement of uninterrupted playtime. So, let go! Have fun. Be silly. Chances are you’ll run into overtime.

Day 3: Paint or draw something good that happened to you

When was the last time you sat down with a big bunch of colouring pencils or felt tip pens? I can’t recall the last time I did it, but I’ve definitely doodled with a biro and fooled about in Photoshop since then. Whatever the process, take some time to illustrate something positive that’s happened in your life.

As with writing, you might find that things flow more naturally by hand; the slower process offers more time to think and maybe even unlock hidden memories. If you can’t think of a particular moment you’d like to draw, why not revisit a place where you enjoy spending time — and draw whatever you see. If you’ve made a mistake, who cares? Incorporate it into the bigger picture somehow, or just start over.

Day 4: Listen to your favourite childhood album

I hate to dance. But if you’re anything like me, you could be caught listening to the weirdest and whackiest music because it brings you personal joy — not because it’s considered cool or popular. When I was a kid, it was no different. My tape collection contained some truly odd stuff; Let’s Go Childish, Our Smurfing Party, and Sir Killalot vs. Robobabe.

Whenever I was stuck, sat on the motorway with my parents, this is the kind of stuff I’d insist we played — Lord knows how they coped. I wasn’t much of a dancer then, either. I got lost in my imagination instead. Find your old favourite album and don’t skip any tracks, play it from start to finish. See if you don’t feel sillier for it.

Day 5: Write a short comedy skit

It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t make any sense. In fact, that’s probably a good thing. Come up with a few crazy characters who have stupid names and live in magical faraway places doing unbelievable things.

ZOD: I confess. It’s true! I’m an alien.

BEN: I did wonder why you were green.

ZOD: I’m green? Oh no — it’s happening again!

Or, zoom in on an old lady at the bus stop who won’t shut up talking to a businessman about her favourite biscuits. Whatever you choose, be silly with it. It doesn’t have to be more than one page long — or it can grow into your debut novel. Just make sure you leave the characters in a better place than you found them. And make sure to revisit the story in about a month’s time. You’ll be surprised; it’s usually better than you remember.

Day 6: Do something fun with a friend you haven’t seen in a while

We can all think of someone we should have met for coffee about a year ago, maybe longer. Someone we’ve just not reached out to. There are plenty of reasons: maybe we’re bogged down in work, exhausted by global events, or recovering from some personal drama. It doesn’t matter. Pick up the phone, chuck them a message and do something.

Anything, so long as it’s fun (i.e. don’t invite them to come with you to the dentist). Make it something out of the ordinary with someone you’ve been meaning to see. Buy a keyring on the way out. And here’s the kicker: before you part ways — after a visit to the zoo, say — make sure you schedule your next catch up. Something else to look forward to.

Day 7: Post a photo of yourself looking silly on social media

Instagram is a bizarre world of egos and aubergines, but it needn’t be so straight faced. Rather than posting about your latest fancy meal or a meme everyone’s already seen, why don’t you take it upon yourself to upload a photo in which you look plain silly? Pull a face, strike a pose, or simply post an embarrassing photo from your youth that you never thought you’d have the guts to unveil.

Better yet, add a caption that says you’re seeking to rediscover your inner silliness — and send them here. No matter their opinion of the photo itself, people will probably appreciate the levity.

Photo by Call Me Fred on Unsplash

There you have it!

Maybe you’re wondering if I practice what I preach? I’ve already done a few of these, but I wanted to write this article, in part, to challenge myself. If I feel I’ve cracked a worthy 7-day streak of silliness, I’ll share the results.