“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow
old because we stop playing”.
– George Bernard Shaw
When was the last time you rolled on the floor, acted silly or laughed so hard your stomach hurt? If it has been too long, put down your adult size seriousness and pick-up a playful attitude as you move into the holidays. No better time to adopt a childlike spirit. Sing, dance, play and be merry, it is good for the soul and your health.
Research affirms that play is not just essential for kids; it can be an important source of relaxation and stimulation for adults as well. Playing with your romantic partner, friends, co-workers, pets, and children is a sure (and fun) way to fuel your imagination, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional well-being.
So, if you notice that play is missing in your day, consider creating a “play” list for this weekend rather than a “to do” list. Grab a friend, give yourself permission to unplug and make time to play, laugh and have fun. It might be just what the doctor ordered.
21 Ways to add PLAY into your day
- Make a list of the top ten things you like to do for fun and integrate them into your schedule.
- Make a list of 5 new fun activities you’d like to do and do them.
- Do things that make you feel silly. Don’t judge, just enjoy yourself.
- Do fun team activities as a family, with friends or co-workers. It’s a good way to bond, improve communication and enjoy each other.
- Take inventory of how much you play and make sure you are spending one hour a day doing something fun.
- Watch your favorite funny movie and laugh out loud.
- Schedule play dates with your friends, family or significant other.
- Try an outside-the-box activity such as: ice skating, yoga, a pottery or cooking class, roller blading, zip lining or zumba class. Go to a comedy club or amusement park, play on the jungle gyms with your kids, roll on the floor with your animals, have a pillow or tickle fight, play hide and seek, charades or go on a treasure hunt.
- Spend time with people who have playful spirits, enjoy life and laugh often.
- If you have children, schedule play time with them. Don’t just watch—get involved.
- Lighten up and look for the humor in things.
- Turn off your technology and go to the park and play outside.
- Create a play drawer and put fun things in it like board games, coloring books and puzzles.
- Observe children, they will show you the art of playing.
- Take something to work that you can do for play such as a small putting green, Rubik’s cube or small Nerf basketball and goal.
- Have more fun at work by taking time to engage with people through humor.
- Make someone laugh; it will make you both feel good.
- Smile at someone; it will lift your spirits and theirs.
- Take laugh inventory. The more you laugh, the better you will feel.
- Participate in a problem-solving session by brainstorming where all ideas are considered.
- Dance the gig, sing out loud in your shower, let your hair down and just have fun.
Train For Life Tip
There is always more work to do so don’t wait until it’s all done to play. If you do, you may be delaying your happiness and depriving yourself of a very important dimension of your life. Take the hall pass, unplug and have fun. It is good medicine for the mind, body and soul.