Who do you think you are?
To create art simply because you like it?
To write only because it makes you feel good?
To dance because it makes your heart sing?
To have fun?
“Hali bop nei ka, shoo!” Last night I attended a drop-in improv class. One of the activities involved speaking gibberish. Someone would look at you, make sounds and facial expressions, you had to respond with your own sounds and then pass it on to someone else. As we continued, body language and facial expressions started to give the jibberish meaning. If an outsider had walked in, they would have thought we were crazy. “What the heck is going on in here? This is ridiculous!”
Yes, exactly. I believe we need more of that!
We often get so caught up in maintaining a certain image, saving face, or looking a particular way that we don’t allow ourselves to let go and be silly or ridiculous.
Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we seem to have forgotten the importance of play. Play is deemed unnecessary and is often put off until the work is done, which means sometimes it simply doesn’t happen.
We have it all wrong. Play is what feeds our creativity. It frees us up to think differently. It brings back our sense of wonder. More often than not, creative solutions (those ‘a-ha’) moments happen not when we are analyzing the heck out of something but later on when we’ve let it go and moved on to a different activity altogether.
Play relieves stress, stimulates the mind, improves brain function, boosts energy, and increases feelings of connection with others.
Yet, despite the benefits (and importance) of play, ask any adult how much they play and they will look at you with blank stares on their faces. “What do you mean, play?”
It sounds silly, but with the ever-increasing busy-ness of the world, you need to schedule time to play. This means looking ahead at your week and adding a little play to each day.
Here are some ways to add more play to your day:
- Designate a no media night with the family each week and play board games
- Meet a friend in the park after work for a walk or to toss a frisbee or ball
- Join a running club, bowling league, volunteer group, or recreational sports team
- Commit to a month of dance classes, yoga, martial arts, acting, or another activity
- Join several meetup groups and commit to going to one event a week
- Spend lunch hour at a museum or art or antique store
- Attend a festival or farmer’s market on the weekend
- Designate time each day (or set days of the week) to create (paint, take pictures, draw, write, sculpt, etc.)
- Try a new activity to get back to being a beginner
- Spend time with a furry friend (cat, dog, rabbit, etc., )
So that you can keep fun a priority, track it. Each evening, reflect on what was fun that day. Notice how you feel when you are engaging in activities you enjoy as well as how those feelings come back upon your nightly reflection.
Remind yourself of how much energy you have when you are having fun – you’ll wake up early, stay up late, you feel unstoppable. That is energy that you can use to propel your career or business, achieve a goal you have set for yourself or resolve a current challenge. This energy doesn’t come from grinding it out, it comes from play.
Want more reasons why you need to play? Check out this article.
What will you do today to play?
Sending you moments of laughter and fun throughout your day,