Lessons from Children: Play!
Continuing in the series around 'Lessons from Children', let's talk about the power and importance of 'play'.
What exactly IS play? When was the last time you allowed yourself to 'play'? Why is play important - or is it? (I suppose you can assume that if I am asking this question, it is important!)
There is a great deal of literature on the importance of play. We will definitely have another post about technology and the pros/cons of this, but for this post, let's focus on the importance of taking time to 'play' and be 'a child' again.
What are some activities that you enjoy doing that involves 'playing'? Let's brainstorm a few; here are some ideas to get started!
-arts and crafts (painting, colouring, drawing, doodling)
-puzzles (jigsaw, number, etc)
-listening to a podcast
-singing and dancing
-fixing things for fun
-organizing a room or space
-gardening and planting
-reading a story/book; writing a story, poems, etc.
-planning 'fun' activities (ex. a vacation - if you don't go!, a weekend, etc.)
-make-up, hair-styling, fashion-designing, nail-art
-building things (lego, boxes, etc.)
What is the POINT of play? There are so many benefits that are documented for play - both for children and adults (see here for some examples!). Think about this: when you allow yourself to play, you engage in a hobby that you enjoy. You can 'get into something' that you are passionate about and forget about everything else. You can put your productivity and effort into something, producing and doing something that brings you joy and satisfaction. This increases your self-esteem, confidence, and appreciation of yourself. This often 'resets' your brain and gives you a sense of clarity as well.
As adults, we are bogged down with many things - from work, to relationships, to duties, etc. We often give excuses such as 'I don't have time for fun', 'play is for children', 'I am too busy or bored', 'I have no one to do anything with', 'I am too tired to do anything', etc.
But these are just that - excuses. There is always time for play - you just have to make it. Even 5 minutes of a break to doodle or read a joke can be a break for your mind and soul. You don't need to have others with you to play - in fact, sometimes, solitary activities might be just what you need. There is no such thing as 'play is for kids only' - we just addressed that above!
Take some time to play each day. All you need is 5 minutes. Engage in play - do something fun for yourself, do something that brings you back to what truly brings you joy and peace. At the end of each day, please ensure that you have at least done ONE thing to play...what will it be today?