Do you even play, bro?
Like a muscle, you need to work your playfulness.
Lighten up a little.
It is well documented that play needs to be a priority for children. It's how they learn & develop an understanding of their world, & how they belong in it; my career & study background in early childhood & primary education has highlighted this for me.
...but what about adults? The importance of play for this age-group isn't as well documented.
Anecdotal evidence would suggest that play is beneficial. Think of how you feel after a night out with friends; after attending a creative workshop; after going out for a dance at the pub or off to a concert...what about those post holiday feels?!
For me, I would use words such as, elated, relaxed, refreshed, alive....human....for me I always feel a little more in touch with my sense of self; who I am as a person (not as a parent or a business owner or as an adult moving through the motions of the daily grind...but ME!)
In the follow up, I find that I tend towards chasing this feeling & keeping ME alive for as long as I can. I play my favourite tunes really loud, take more care when choosing my outfits & getting ready; I have a bounce in my step & a zest for life, I guess you could say!
I'm more productive & I get more enjoyment form the life & happenings around me.
MY STRESS IS REDUCED!
The trouble is, this always seems fairly short lived. Life creeps back up & the stress levels begin to rise. I sink back into the daily grind & then begin to wish for more time, to find myself again.
What if we changed this narrative?
What if we prioritised play?
Take a look at big companies such as Google who have taken this approach. They experience a greater working culture & a more productive workforce.
For me, I can compare the idea of prioritising play to practicing meditation or developing & maintaining an exercise routine. At first, it seems counter productive to take these times away from active engagement with the to-do list (...cause that sh*t isn't going to take care of itself!) & there are times when I feel like I just couldn't be bothered,
These practices actually help us to get through the to-do list more efficiently & practicing even when we don't feel like it, exercises the strong mindset we need to be productive.
Working with a clear, refreshed mind is going to produce better results.
You are going to be more innovative.
Your mood will improve.
& you will take more pleasure in your day.
Not only will you feel better, your relationships will improve (...we've all seen the memes about not being able to pour from an empty cup right?!)
It's a win win really...go PLAY!
Prioritising play ideas for grown up kids:
- Get creative!
Grab yourself some art materials & learn a new skill. Youtube is a great resource for beginner level tutorials for so many art & craft activities. If your looking for a kit to set yourself up to go without too much though, try our Draw pack. It's designed with adults in mind & is based off my own journey towards a more playful life
- Do something silly
Play is like a muscle that needs exercising. When we have 'forgotten' how to play, it can feel a little weird at first when we are trying to add it back into our days. Challenge yourself to do one silly thing a day. It can be while you are on your own (trying a cartwheel; putting your make up on silly - you can wipe it off!; making something out of an empty box...do you like my egg carton eyes?!), or with someone else (tell them a joke; make up a random dance move; challenge them to a hopping race).
EXERCISE YOUR PLAY MUSCLE! It will start to feel more natural & you will start to notice more opportunities to play.
Have fun peeps!