Many people think playtime is for children, and this simply is not true! 

 Adults who play are often looked down on by society, but for children it is seen as perfectly normal and highly encouraged. Being an adult means it’s time to be serious and mature, right?

Everyone has problems to solve. Think about how you learned most of your skills in problem solving, sharing, creativity, and building relationships. Skills you use on a daily basis come from playing as a child. So why did you stop playing? 

Most often people get caught up in life and forget to have fun. However, you can be serious and silly. For instance, think of a pediatrician. They take their job seriously, while also using play  and humor while dealing with a child who may be frightened. 

Play and having fun are truly important things to incorporate into your daily life. Having fun provides stress relief and helps to prevent burnouts. It can give you something to look forward to after a hard day. 

Ask yourself, are you off balance? 

Do you feel burnt out often? Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you spend time doing things you are passionate about, or even little things that bring you joy?

Often people think they have a balanced life but when it comes down to it they aren’t doing enough for themselves. Often you hear “there just isn’t enough time in the day”. Think about how you spend your day. How do you use your time? Doing chores, working, taking care of others? 

If you’ve ever flown, you’ve heard the safety announcement: “put your mask on first”. It makes it much harder to help others when you don’t take care of yourself first. Therefore, it is important to schedule in fun time the same as you would any other appointment. 

Start today by making a list of 7 fun things to do this summer. 

Break that down to one fun thing for each week.  Or break it down further to one fun thing to do each day.  You may find this difficult, especially if you have been neglecting the fun side of life. Don’t be afraid to start small or get back in touch with your inner child. You may have forgotten things that bring you joy.  No matter how small it’s the smile on your face at the end of the day that matters. 

Another thing to remember while doing this is to be present. Take this time to do something for YOU. Put away all the thoughts of things you may need to get done like laundry or dishes or even work-related tasks. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you are important!

Fun and happiness are important in your life. They also go hand in hand. Things that are fun make you happy, and things that make you happy bring fun. Don’t worry about what others think, this is your life. What others may deem fun or age appropriate may not be your scene. If you do something someone else finds fun, but you don’t it doesn’t count. 

So start slow, whether it be by yourself or with others. Do something you used to enjoy. Even if it has been years since you last did it. Maybe you used to have a hobby that you never have time for now. If it sparks fun, make time. It may also spark a new relationship or even rekindle an old one. 

Try a new hobby if the old one just isn’t your thing anymore.  Look up events in your area to get out of the house, or come up with fun reasons to stay in. One of the colleges in my area offers Adult Learning workshops that include everything from photography to pottery. I talked to a young lady this weekend who just joined a hiking club.  Not only is she meeting new people each time, she’s exploring the local and state parks – and loving it! For me over the years, my list has included a painting class (water colors), sign language, and sewing. All were so much fun!

Turn off your electronics, and take yourself back to your childhood and how you spent your time playing then. Use your imagination and get creative. Pretend your living room is a ballroom and dance to your hearts content. Take a walk outside and look at the shapes the clouds make. Grab a friend and play I spy. Take a nap if that’s what you need. 

Keep things simple, remember you are relieving stress, not creating more.

Don’t forget your list and start small. 7 Simple things. Tap into your inner child.  That may sound trite, but I know you’ll experience incredible benefits.

Take back your life and balance.  Feel free to reach out with what you discover.  If I can help you come up with new ideas, just reach out.  I am here to help!