It’s important to know that play is a vital part of living. As a child play is critical for development and for adults this is critical for our wellbeing.
Dr. Stuart Brown says, “play is a basic human need as essential to our well-being as sleep, so when we are low on play, our minds and bodies notice. Over time play deprivation can reveal itself in patterns of behaviour. We might get cranky, rigid, feel stuck in a rut, victimized by life.”
So why is it important to play more?
Nancy Richards Farese shares that, “play is a complex tool for development and self-preservation that we rely on as we continue to grow; it’s essential for nurturing the skills and resilience we need to complete our inner lives, and to engage fully in our public lives.”
So if this not enough reason, inviting more play to your day can help you …
• Reduce stress (That’s why Doodle books go beyond reading to actively help you unwind)
• Release endorphins and increase brain functionality
• Build creativity and problem solving
• Cultivate deep connections and keeps things fresh and exciting when playing together
• Experience joy
• Build your career. Because play at work results in more productivity, higher job satisfaction and greater workplace morale
And for no other reason above, play is linked to aging less!
So what is play?
Play is a process, not a thing! This is a state of being, purposeless, fun and pleasurable.
How can you invite more play to your day?
You may have gotten to the point where you do not feel play exists inside you. Or perhaps you have just forgotten how.
Start by changing how you think about play – if you can remember how important it is to play this may help you do things that are more playful.
Play can be a simple as sharing a joke with a friend, throwing a ball around, playing a board game, building something with Lego, talking to your pet or pulling out your favourite mark making tool and doodling.
Remember there does not have to be any point to playful activity, just have fun and enjoy yourself!
I recently read a book called the ‘Compound Effect’ by Darren Hardy. By inviting a tiny piece of something to your life, like play and doing this consistently, over time this will yield abundantly.
Just think about how much joy you can experience by inviting even one small playful activity to your day!
Play is being joyfully immersed in the moment, as adults we rarely do this. Give yourself permission to play today, as this is now more important than ever.
So don’t wait for you to be on vacation to play, incorporate this into your everyday. That’s an order!