I’ve been reading and hearing a lot about the importance of ‘playing’ in life. In all of the self-help/spiritual/health books, podcasts and blogs I engage with, this concept comes up almost weekly, these days.
When we were kids, all we wanted to do was play. That was our main focus in life, without it being something that we needed to ‘make time for’, which, apparently, as adults, we do.
We rode bikes, played in the woods, made tree forts, jump roped just for the fun of it and not because it was ‘a good form of cardio’. We swam in the summers and did puzzles and played games in the winter. We played tag and hide- and-seek with the neighbors until our moms called us all inside.
Now the word ‘play’ sounds stressful to me. Play induces thoughts of forced running around the backyard, kicking a soccer ball or jumping on the trampoline, neither, of which, sounds very fun to me at this stage of my life
Now, according to science and research, I’m supposed to ‘make time’ for play, as an adult. When I ponder this concept, I wonder if I’m taking time to play enough and if I’m getting enough of it?
I don’t know about you, but translating ‘play’ into ‘fun’ or ‘relax’ time sounds more appealing. The adult version of ‘playtime’, to me, is whatever you find to give you a break from the thrum of the day, to take a time-out from the grind of errands, work, household chores….whatever that might be for you.
I once read that, if you think back to what you loved to do when you were 18, those are most likely the activities that will still feel relaxing and fun to you, whatever age you find yourself at now. I’ve been following that concept and find it to be true. Can you take a moment and reflect back on what you liked to do when you were 18?
For me it was reading a good book while lying on my bed, riding my bike, swimming, being in nature and hanging out with friends. I’m 46 now and I realized that I STILL absolutely LOVE doing all of the above-mentioned activities.
I find that if I can get a couple of these activities in at least 1-2 times a week, I feel recharged and relaxed, and I feel that I can be a better mom, wife, friend and doctor.
Are you taking time for yourself, throughout the day, or during the week to do what you love most?
Ideally, taking time everyday, even if it’s 30 minutes, to do something all for yourself (and yes, one might call this selfish, but hey, you’ve got to do it….no one else will do it for you….being ‘selfish’ can be a really good thing, despite what your Kindergarten teacher might have taught you).
Relaxing or ‘playing’ has been found to:
- Decrease muscle tension
- Improve digestion
- Relieve anxiety
- Alleviate pain and inflammation
- Decrease blood pressure
- Balance blood sugar
- Release endorphins that help with feelings of happiness and well-being
- …thereby relieving feelings of sadness and depression
My challenge to you
Right now, my family is in Mexico, exploring alternative living possibilities. We’re all working and schooling simultaneously, and we’re including relax time each day, which includes swimming in the fresh water, jungle cenotes of the Yucatan, morning coffees with my son, walking around town, exploring new vegetarian cafes, and playing an ongoing game of ‘Bananagrams’.
The relaxing time sprinkled in with the work-time makes for a WAY healthier balance than the regular grind of all-day work.
I encourage you, too, to find your own special balance of work and play, especially now, when laughter and joy and lightness is so very needed in all of our lives and in the world.
I’d LOVE to hear from you what fun activity you’ve started including into your daily routine! Please shoot me an email to let me know!
Sending you healing to wherever you are in the world!
Ready to take your health to the next level?…Read on!
I’ve been there…..fatigued, in pain, anxiety, brain fog….. I know what it’s like to be in so much pain that crawling across the floor is the only way to ambulate across the room.
I know what it’s like to sleep 10 hours at night and then struggle to get up and out of bed, only to be ready to get BACK into bed an hour later.
I know what it’s like struggling with trying to get housework finished and to still have energy to spend time with my kids.
I know because I’ve experienced ALL of these scenarios at some point over the last 25 years.
The happy ending to this story is that I’m NOT that person anymore!
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