No one questions that playing is important for kids, but you should realize that adults need time for play, too. It is the perfect solution for fighting against the stress and pressure of the normal workday.
Along the way, we lost the time to play
Somewhere between adolescence and adulthood, we stopped making time for play. In fact, some of us even forget how to play. We get wrapped up in favorite TV shows and computer activities, and then we stop interacting playfully with others.
We swapped fun for worries, stress and sleeplessness. This is a shame, because play can be rejuvenating, energizing, and liberating.
Playing with your spouse, co-workers, friends, or children is a wonderful means of fueling your creativity, problem-solving skills, and imagination. It induces a sense of relaxation and improves mental health.
Engaging in active play with your children also helps them to become better adjusted, less stressed out, and improves their problem-solving abilities.
Benefits of play
Whether you play on your own, with a pet, your child, or a friend, there are many benefits you receive from the act of playing:
· Stress/anxiety relief – Playing can induce the release of endorphins, which are your body’s own feel-good chemicals that promote a sense of well-being and help provide some pain relief. By connecting with your family and friends through play, you may help prevent depression.
· Train your brain – When you engage in playing games like chess or completing crossword puzzles, the challenges train your brain through problem-solving. This may help prevent memory loss and increase your cognitive function.
· Create more energy – Play has the profound effect of creating more vitality and energy. Through your activity, you will find yourself rejuvenated, and maybe even feeling younger. The activity can also boost your immune system and keep you feeling healthy.
· Kick-start your creativity – Both children and adults learn very well through the act of playing. When something is enjoyable, you are more likely to imprint it in your mind and want to repeat it. By being relaxed and playful, you can unlock your imagination and learn new things about the world with a change of perspective.
· Connect with others – Simply having a playful nature to your personality can help you with meeting new people, forming new friendships, and integrating with co-workers in a new job. Even when you’re not actively playing, you can have a playful state of mind that others find warm and inviting. This can lead to mutual feelings of empathy, compassion, and trust.
Improve your personal relationships
When a relationship is new, being able to laugh together and interact playfully helps foster attraction, while working through awkward stages as you get to know each other. In a long-term, serious relationship, playful activities help prevent the relationship from becoming stagnant. You can keep things exciting, fresh, intimate, and with a sense of newness by having fun together.
Incorporating fun and play in the workplace and at home
Having potluck lunches with co-workers can foster conversations and interactions that might not happen otherwise. Similarly, attending office parties for holidays and special events allows co-workers to see a more personal and approachable side to each other.
Consider holding game nights with your friends and family at home. Play with your pet at home or in a local park. Joke with others you meet in the grocery store or at the bank. Pick up a new hobby that you always wanted to learn about as a child to help foster a feeling of youthfulness and wonder.
Play with your kids by dressing up in costumes, putting together a makeshift tent in the living room and “camping out”, or even just making up stories together before bedtime. These can all be highly bonding experiences.
What are you waiting for? Go play!
-The Alternative Daily