Nurture - September 19, 2018

Adults Need Playtime Too. Here’s 5 Ways To Play.

This post was originally a newsletter sent before MAED had launched, the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive that I knew I wanted to share it again in a more permanent way.

Most of us hear self-care and think of scheduling “me time,” getting that extra hour of sleep or a much-needed massage — all great forms of self-care. There is, however, one form of self-care that can be overlooked.

Focused on our commitments and goals, our days are filled with our jobs, partners, family and friends. The doctor’s appointments, trying to get to the gym several times a week, the trips to the grocery store and the never-empty inbox. With so much on our minds, it’s no wonder we hardly think about the next time we’re going to play.

Play? Yup! That’s what I said… Play.

Think about it. When was the last time you had pure, intentional fun? I’m not sure when I stopped playing, but I do know that having my daughter has reminded me that play is self-nurturing and healthy.

Play has mental, emotional and physical benefits. Challenging games like puzzles or scrabble can improve your memory and brain function. Play can cheer you up and relieve stress. It can stimulate your imagination and encourage creativity. Playing with someone you care about can strengthen your connection. Just like children, we develop social skills, team-playing skills and healthy habits when we play.

Experiencing more play time is a game changer, but how can adults create more opportunities for play?

1. Schedule it in. We schedule everything else in, so it makes sense that we should schedule in our play. Plan a monthly game night with friends. Dedicate every Saturday afternoon to playing volleyball with the kids. Whatever it is, make a plan and stick to it.

2. Engage your senses. Build a sandcastle or have a water fight. Take a tequila taste-test, blindfolded! Go barefoot and play tag on the beach.

3. Explore new experiences. Try that karaoke bar down the street. Go horseback riding. Take up tango lessons.

4. Indulge your childhood memories. Remember how fun double dutch was? Dust off those rollerblades and hit the streets. Have a sleepover with your girlfriends and play dress up.

5. Laugh. Call that one friend who always has the most ridiculous things to say. Have a pillow fight. Bring on the duck lips and all your other silly faces and shamelessly selfie away. Laughing at yourself counts too!

This fall, try rotating play into your current self-care routine. It may not look like hide-and-seek at the park, or maybe it does! Either way, PLAY AWAY.

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Photography - Lauren Alexandra
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