Playtime

 

One of the best lessons I’ve learned so far in 2017 is the importance of play in our lives.

I was reading a personal development book (The Gift of Imperfection, Brené Brown) that was talking about how play is crucial to keeping our human minds engaged with the world, teaches us new things, and reduces stress levels to keep us healthy.

Imagine my alarm when I realized I believe I’ve forgotten how to play. For the last few years (for me it’s been an increasing problem since high school, but that’s because I’m a keener), I’ve been focused so much on work and deadlines and achieving goals, that I kind of forgot how to turn off the goal-metre and do things for the sake of doing things.

Heck, even when I’m at the cottage with my family in the middle of the country, I tend to keep myself on a firm schedule so that “I can get as much relaxing in as possible.” Uh huh, that sounds lovely, doesn’t it?

And I don’t think I’m the only person facing this issue. In our society, we’re often told that unless something has a purpose, there’s no point doing it. Why make time for things like working on a jigsaw puzzle or taking a dance class – or if you do those things, it has to be for a reason. It’s to achieve something or to compete in some way.

Play is crucial to how our brain develops. It helps us learn things in a safe environment, keeps the neurons making new associations, and, mostly important, it’s fun. 

Research shows that extended periods without play can start to affect your mood (and in the current social climate, not to mention the wintry climate, we already have enough stresses on our ability to feel joy and excitement). It’s also shown that people who withhold play in their lives do suffer from a sort of “play deprivation”, and, just like with sleep loss, will rebound as soon as the opportunity comes up to let loose.

So make sure to get some playtime in today. I promise, it’ll be worth it.

*throws on music*

*dances around office just for the hell of it*

Advertisements

5 comments

  1. Good for you! I’m a big believer in play & right now have a coloring book on my lap, a jigsaw puzzle on my kitchen table, and scrapbook stuff on about a quarter of my den floor! (Though the latter is also an accomplishment…)

    1. That sounds perfect ^.^ The yoga instructor I follow on YouTube is really big at encouraging play in practice, and I’m even making an effort now to turn my bullet journal time into playtime with doodles and colours and what not.

      I was still DOING the fun things, I think, jist really not being mindful that it was supposed to be FUN. Hoping that’ll keep changing as the good weather starts to become back

      *glares out window*
      *gets icicle in eye*

  2. Fortunately, I was raised in a ‘playful’ family. That’s not to say I always have an easy time of losing myself in the moment. There are several family members, however, who will give me a not-so-gentle-nudge when they see me attempting to ‘work’ while I’m supposed to be having fun. It’s hard to turn off that switch sometimes, though!!

    1. It really is! The chaptef in this book I’m reading on the subject points out that some people have such a hard time that they turn even fun activities into a chore. It really does have to be a conscious decision sometimes to relax

Thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s