Why does the role of an adult have to be a serious one?
As a child, playtime was when you connected with yourself and the world around you. Somewhere along the journey from childhood adventures to adulthood responsibilities, we lose the magic of play. As adults, we are often made to feel guilty for engaging in play, because it is frequently perceived as being unproductive, childish and a waste of time. I’m here to tell you that there is no need to feel embarrassed! Playing is an essential part of living a healthy, fulfilling life.
Complete this statement: I feel most playful when I ______ (example: make up a recipe, take dogs hiking, play with children outside, create new things, or play pickup games). Notice when your playfulness shines through. Is it when you’re feeling creative, sporty, silly, outdoorsy, or something entirely different? Now, be mindful of your playful self as you go through your day and try to engage in these behaviors and activities more often!
How can play help balance your life as an adult?
1. Engaging in playful behaviors decreases stress levels - The activity and stimulation involved in play that lessens stress leads to less illness and a more positive attitude!
2. Moments of playfulness ground you to the present moment - Allow yourself to become aware of living life in the now! Spontaneous play helps you lessen the chatter of the mind and is a wonderful way to enjoy what is happening in the moment.
3. As a group activity, it can strengthen social bonds - Inspire friends to join you in playful behaviors at lunch, while shopping, etc., such as, “who can make the funniest face with their food?”
4. Play can provide inspiration, excitement, and energy - Catch yourself in a routine, and shake yourself out of it! Don't allow your days to be habitual, mundane and ordinary... add some spice!
5. Playing in the workplace can increase productivity, creativity and job satisfaction - If you’re feeling stagnant at work, try incorporating some playful behaviors or activities into your day (and be mindful of the effects). It’s an easy way to revive your energy and balance yourself.
It’s okay to break out of expected roles and behaviors to engage in playful activities as an “adult.” Play is energizing, refreshing and a wonderful form of stress relief. It also creates the foundation for a happy, balanced life in childhood and adulthood.
The key is to recognize the activities you enjoy and try to do them more (it’s pretty simple!). Playing doesn’t have to take much time, and you can experience many wonderful benefits. Embrace the shift in perspective that will swing you toward a more balanced life.