Bringing Out Your Inner Child

I was never enthused about playtime. In kindergarten I’d hold on the chain link fence and cry on the playground during recess like get me out of here. As I aged, I saw “play” as competition which in my mind led to confrontation and I don’t care if it’s playful confrontation, I didn’t like it.

Now that I’m in my 30’s, I’m realizing how important it is to remain young at heart. I’m at this age where I’m noticing “age” and while there are so many things I’m learning to be tolerant and okay with, it’s resonating with me that I need a solid break-break from time to time. I need to take a strong pause and divert my attention to something simply for the enjoyment of it. For no other reason but pure recreation.

Adult playtime has serious benefits beyond a temporary vacation from reality. It isn’t rest—it’s active—and yet its effect on the mind, body, and emotions is important for our daily growth. The act of play releases endorphins and improves brain and memory functions. When you’re happy and more coordinated, you’re hopefully more productive.

Playful ideas to boost your mental and physical wellbeing

Playing Games with Others

Oh, to laugh with the ones you love. When you play games with others, it breaks the ice and allows you to grow relationships. We may not need to like every person we meet but it’s important to get along with our peers because it breaks us out of fixating on ourselves, strengthening our empathy and compassion.

Some of the home games available today are almost décor-worthy. From puzzles of classic works to beautifully remastered games fashioned with decorative woodwork— You can keep these games out and no one is going to yell at you to put them away.

Finding a Hobby or Craft Project

It’s not about posting on social media. It isn’t about the end product. Choosing a hobby is all about finding something you enjoy and it doesn’t matter if you’re completely awful at it. You can take up a new skill like creating wall tapestries for yourself or others or even subscribe to a craft-teaching service where they send you a curated kit and access to digital classes.

Visiting Your Local Park

One of my favorite pastimes is walking at the park. It sounds like something you wrote as an answer for your elementary school homework, I like to play at the park. But honestly I thoroughly enjoy taking in the fresh air, looking at all of the nature, and talking away. Walking also helps me to stay grounded and present and its proven to boost your mood, increase levels of vitamin D, and lower blood pressure.

Adding Playful Home Décor

While there may not be a study on how funky rugs and odd-shaped vases affect our wellbeing, I believe that playful environments encourage your motivation to play. A way to add quirky elements to your home without being tacky or kitschy is through fun accents.

It’s been a serious two years. Yes, TWO. It’s hard to believe that a health pandemic has shaken up our lives for the past couple of years. I totally believe that we’re going to see more people finding ways to get relief from all of the stress and concern, even if that means getting a little silly. I hope that you’re granted more opportunities for fun, enjoyment, and play this upcoming year.