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imply Well

Lighten Up with Humor, Play, and Pleasure

© John W Travis MD, MPH

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Simply Well by John W Travis MD, MPH. View all columns in series

We stake our lives on our purposeful programs and projects, our serious jobs and endeavors. But doesn’t the really important part of our life unfold "after hours"—singing and dancing, music and painting, prayer and lovemaking, or just fooling around?

Fr. William McNamara

What's Your Pleasure?
What does play mean to you? Is there enough fun in your life? Enough time for simply fooling around? You will find it easier to begin exploring this subject by making a Non-pleasure List of things that aren’t fun or playful or enjoyable for you. Things like skydiving, or shopping for clothes, or running. You may even get a laugh or two out of making the list. Once that list is out of the way, you may be inspired to make a Pleasure List of what is fun for you—like checking out garage sales, going out for breakfast with a friend, or taking a sauna.

Go through your Pleasure List and indicate the last time you remember doing each of these activities. Is there one item on your list that you could do today? One that you will put on your schedule for this week or next? Many people find it helpful to actually put the date on their calendar, scheduling in times for doing something fun or for just doing nothing.

Reprinted with permission, from Simply Well by John W. Travis, MD, & Regina Sara Ryan. Copyright 2001. Celestial Arts, Berkeley, CA.

The online version of Dr. Travis' Wellness Inventory may be accessed at ( The Wellness Inventory may also be licensed by coaches, health and wellness professionals, and organizations.

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About The Author
John W. Travis, MD, MPH, is the creator of the Wellness Inventory and its parent, the Wellness Index. He is the founder and co-director of Wellness Associates, a consulting and publishing group whose mission is to transform the culture from its current focus on authoritarianism/domination into......more
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