Why Play is Important for Adults, too!
Being a Mom of 3 kids, I know it’s so easy to get caught up in all the responsibilities we have to deal with. Running our kids lives and our own lives, leaves little room for little else. It's so easy to get caught up in the hectic and rushed part of our lives. How can you possibly make time for anything else?! But, if we can make play a priority and weave it into our day without much effort, the benefits could have a huge impact. We can make it “work for us” when we reframe what it does for us.
Research shows the value in play for adults.
If you think of companies like Google, Facebook and Apple, you instantly see an environment of millennials who are playing ping-pong, walking around in their ripped jeans and t-shirts to work and engaging in activities all around the "campus". I mean, at least that's how the movies portray it. But it really does exist and for a good reason. Studies actually show that we need those moments of play because they give us the white space, the noise-free zone to let other thoughts come in. For ideas and creativity to actually take a front seat to the rest of the mental chatter that goes on in your head, we need those breaks. Taking moments of space and quiet can change your entire outlook, like with meditation. Play has it’s own rewards.
The Value of Play
Recently in an article, in the Sydney Herald (read the whole article here), they noted how it can be an important means of stress reduction and contributing to overall well-being. Purposely adding play into your daily life can have such a huge impact on depression and just feeling stuck in your life. Plus, it just plain makes you feel good!
This is becoming such an important topic, there’s even a National Institute of Play (it’s in Carmel, California- of course! 😉) and the studies have found that people who engage in play and are more playful, respond to stress by “react(ing) to [it] differently, allowing stressors to roll off more easily than those who are less playful”.
So, how can you start to make this a part of your day, week, or month? It just takes a very little amount of planning and a lot of just letting it happen, organically. But, to get you started, here are:
4 hacks you can use to start adding play to your day:
- When you pick your kids from school, park the car. Get out and engage with them on the playground (if they aren’t at the "horrified" age, yet, of course). Take advantage of this age and time in your children’s lives to show them you remember what it’s like to be a kid. There’s no real objective, except to just have fun!
- If you're more inclined to go to a museum or an art gallery as a fun activity- find one local to you! Engage with the people who work there and ask questions. Ignite your natural curiosity, just like you would as a kid!
- If you're more active and physically respond to play. Join a softball or volleyball team. Or just meet up with some friends and start learning tennis or basketball. Get physical in a non-gym, checklist kind of way. You’re not concerned with burning calories as much as you are trying to engage in the activity just for the pure pleasure in it.
- Or if you enjoy live music, schedule it into your calendar monthly!! You will naturally ignite that energy of movement and play into your body, mind and spirit.
Yes, that kid is still in there!! The part of you who likes to have fun- just for the spirit of it. You may just need a gentle nudge, a reminder that just because you’ve turned into an adult doesn’t mean you can’t still be a kid!
Hopefully, this sparked a light and you came up with your own ideas. Let me know in the comments below! I love reading your thoughts. It’s what lights me up!!
High fives all around!