All work and no play makes for a pretty boring life. Remember when you didn’t have to think about having a good time? The days were long and relaxing, and there were plenty of good times to be had because responsibility was minimal.
Of course, it wasn’t all perfect—there was acne, angst, rejection and heartache. But you have to admit, there was a lot more freedom. Rediscovering the carefree mentality of youth may help you gain a new perspective on life. So go ahead, act like a teenager. You’ve earned it.
1) Sleep In
As an adult, the weekends are usually reserved for knocking stuff out you didn’t get done during the week, right? Not this time. Sleep in and don’t feel guilty. Even better, call in to work one morning and tell them you’ll be in late. Use the time to do something you haven’t done in a while. Read the paper or watch a movie. Remember, you’re rebelling!
We get it: you have stuff to get done. But look at it this way: sleep is great for you. It restores your body, helps you to heal, repairs your immune system and chips away at the aging process. They don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing.
2) Stay Out Late
Having a schedule means breaking it once in a while, that’s why you should forgo the 10 p.m. bedtime to paint the town red. Sure, you’ll be tired in the morning, but live a little! Go out dancing, have a party, have a girls’ or guys’ night out, or go to a midnight movie. You’ll see that the world is a different place at 1 a.m., and that can be very refreshing.
Teenagers rarely worry about the physical repercussions of staying out late. If a wild night didn’t result in their getting grounded, they’ll probably do the same thing all over again the following night.
3) Be a Little Selfish
Being an adult means making sacrifices for other people at the expense of our own time or resources. The next time a friend asks you to fit something into your already over-extended schedule, just say no. Let yourself enjoy a little free time for yourself and your family.
There are exceptions to this rule, but, in general, adolescents are oblivious to the needs of others as their worlds revolve around them and their circles of friends. But selfishness can absolutely foster empowerment in doing what makes you happy, set among blissful ignorance.
4) Go on an Adventure
Youth is all about experiencing new things—that’s what makes it exciting. Whether it’s taking that hiking trip in the Himalayas on your own, learning to speak French or enrolling in that new pottery class, try something you’ve never done before. You may just discover a new hobby that you love.
Young people are usually successful at trying new things, because they don’t worry or obsess about what negative things could happen. With an invincible smirk, they will try anything once. So what if things don’t work out as planned. Take a cue from these adventure junkies and go for it—without a plan.
5) Loosen the Workload
Teenagers can work at the local Burger King or schlep jeans at the Denim Den without reservations, as their part-time jobs are just another way to socialize and make a little extra spending money. Maybe you don’t want to run out and pursue a gig that you’re overqualified for, but the lesson from teens is to lighten up.
Try not to take yourself or what you do for a living so seriously, specifically as a representation of your worth or success. Your profession does not define the person you are, so loosen up. Retrain your brain to appreciate time with your friends, family and extracurricular activities outside of the office and your blood pressure will thank you for it.
Ultimately, it may seem a little silly to adopt the practices of a tumultuous teen. But adolescents follow their own rules; they defy generational standards while trying to discover their individuality. If there is anything to learn from the younger age group, it’s to loosen up and enjoy the present.
Perhaps it is irresponsible to indulge in selfish antics, stay out late and drift through life at your own pace. However, the simplicity of adolescence can offer a reminder that youth doesn’t have to be wasted on the young.