How often do you do something just for the fun of it?
Once a week? Once a month?
Or barely ever? You’re not alone.
As a Joy Coach, one of the things that surprised me in the early days is how resistant people are to the idea of play as adults.
A lot of this resistance comes from misconceptions and fears about play- that it’s just for kids, that it will mean you aren’t taken seriously or that you just don’t have time for play (because it’s unproductive and a waste of time).
We couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, science has proven that there is real power to be found in the art of play.
Play can make us calmer, more relaxed, help us sleep better, build deeper connections with the people we love and care about – and that’s all outside of work!
At work, it can boost creativity, inspire new ideas, allow space for creative problem-solving, and much more.
So now we’re sold on the power of play, what does play look like? How do we bring more play into our day?
Here are 3 ideas to get you started if you want to bring more play into your day.
- SWIRL PLAY INTO UNPLEASANT ACTIVITIES
Many activities, tasks or events in our lives are mandatory but we consider them boring. How much better would it be if we could bring some joy to these? To do this, write a list of your top 10 favourite simple pleasures, be it a yoga class, calling a friend or taking a bath. Then look at the list and see if you can “swirl” these pleasures into those tasks or events you find boring.
For example, if you hate ironing, but love watching Disney films, why not combine the two? It really can be that simple.
- RECONNECT WITH WHAT YOU ENJOYED AS A CHILD
To reconnect with your playful self, take a trip down memory lane and think about what you enjoyed doing as a child. Was it blowing bubbles? Colouring? Disney movies or pillow fights? Well why not try doing them again as an adult? You can do most of these things in the privacy of your home, and the rewards you will reap are worth getting through the awkwardness you may feel when you first start!
- GET TO KNOW YOUR INNER PLAYFUL SPIRIT
I know when I’m in touch with my inner playful spirit, because a massive grin spreads across my face. This is when my inner playful spirit – the 4-year-old version of me, comes out to play.
As I’ve grown a connection with this part of myself, it’s got much stronger and she comes out A LOT more. I’ve also worked at letting her come out to play (which involves releasing those fears of being judged ) and now she pops up all over the place, infusing my day with fun, play, wonder and laughter.
If you’d like your inner playful spirit to turn up more often, start paying more attention to when that part of you shows up naturally. You could even sit down and have a chat with that part of yourself, asking, ‘What would you like to do for the next half hour?’. Don’t worry if you draw a blank at first, as just starting to pay attention to what makes you feel playful will help you develop the awareness of what exactly brings that part of you out to play.
Play is far more powerful than people realise and far from a waste of time. If you’re looking to enhance your creativity, productivity, focus, sleep and relationships, then try one of these playful activities!