More Play, Less Work
When was the last time you allowed yourself to play? Really play, like you did when you were a child. To some, playing may appear to be unproductive, but in truth, it’s more profitable than you might think. By permitting yourself to indulge in a good time and rekindle nostalgic feelings of your childhood, you soothe your body and soul. Whether it is hitting a volleyball or whiling away an afternoon drawing, having fun can lower your blood pressure and enable you to use your mind in ways that are different than how you would at work.
One key component to really good play is it doesn’t need any qualifying. As we grow older we have traded our coloring books and crayons for legal pads and ballpoint pens. As adults we believe that if we are not engaged in “productive” work we are not serving a purpose. But too much seriousness in our lives without some fun can lead to an imbalance and anxiety.
So, when you start to feel pressured, the first step is to stop and smile. That singular move enables your facial muscles to send messages to your brain that helps turn off the stress. Moving your body has a similar effect. And who knows what might happen if you put the two together!
Are you ready to start having some fun? Think like a kid, they don’t analyze having fun – they just do it, and so should you. If you aren’t sure how to begin, grab a paper and pencil. Think about an event or activity in which you had a great time. Write down four or five factors that contributed to your fun, such as people or location. Next, rank each factor by how much it affected the pleasure of that activity. Cross off the lowest ranking ones and what’s left will give you a clue of what to look for in other activities.
Here are few more suggestions to bring out the child in you: Finger paint, build a sand castle, have a slumber party, eat animal crackers, and everyone should have a box of 64 crayons!
If you are really stuck, you can ask a friend for help – plan a play date. Seriously, go have some fun!
until next time…