Have you lost your ability to play?
When we become mothers, we’re so focused on raising children, taking care of the house, working, etc. that we forget how to have fun.
Our society makes us think that leisure time or doing anything for fun, without a purpose, is lazy. That there must always be a purpose to something. And yes, we talk a lot about productivity and priorities here.
It’s also important to play. Taking a break, resting and recharging helps our productivity. We might come up with a solution to a work problem while on a hike. Maybe the next great idea for your business comes while walking your dog or spending time with friends.
We often collapse on the couch to watch TV because we’re too exhausted to do anything else. But watching TV is not always restorative. We choose it because we’re not sure what else to do with our time. It’s an easy choice. Or we’re folding laundry, paying bills, or doing something else while we watch TV.
And we don’t need one more thing to do. It’s easier to keep plugging away at our to-do list. We’ll do something fun when our kids are older or the to-do list is done.
What if we took the time to play?
The National Institute of Play says on their website that play is the gateway to vitality.
Studies have shown that kids who have more unstructured free time to play are more social and academically proficient in life. It’s important for kids to have unstructured free time. This is where they learn social skills, their own limits, etc.
But play shouldn’t be only for kids. Adults need it too. And it needs to be something we for the fun of it.
Escape Adulthood is one of my favorite places to remind me to add a little play to my life. They remind me to stop being so focused on my to-do list and be more present. To find ways to add fun and whimsy to my days. And that it doesn’t need to be a big event for it to be fun.
Play could be learning a new instrument, taking voice lessons, learning how to sew, volunteering, taking a class on any topic that interests you, hiking. The point is to do it for the fun of it. Not because you need to do it for work or you want to lose ten pounds.
I want to add more play to my life. Find new hobbies, learn new skills. And learn to be more present. I’d like to buy a piano soon and start taking lessons again. I’d like to snowshoe and cross-country ski. I also want to check out some dance classes from Put On Your Dance Shoes (POYDS). Or, if you want some virtual yoga or meditation in your life, check out Cindy Glennon Wellness.
What about you? What do you for fun these days?