Playing is by alrights something we envision for children. I think kids in a sandbox in the park, swinging from a tree, or even swimming in a pool. But these days it seems "play" has changed for kids and somewhere along the timeline of growing up we decided as adults we don't get to play. I am reminded of something a therapist once told me which has by some miracle stuck in my noodle," we need three elements to make a happy life: love, work, and play. "
Play for kids it seems now involves down time often in front of a screen or some sort of indoor activity. Remember when we were little and we knew it was time to come in or home when it started getting dark? I do and I really wish that were still the same for kids today. We had such a freedom to stretch our boundaries, build forts, have our own time, and be more autonomous than kids these days. But things change and we either go with it or get left behind. So we help kids build better ways of finding the broader horizons that we had naturally. Pokemon Go is a great example. My favorite kid is crazy about the game! Pokemon Go has not only launched him from the screen but has engaged him in really wonderful conversations with his dad. Pokemon gets a gold star from me! I have heard this from Moms & Aunties as well. Kids play naturally they just do it! But we adults don't always now how to or maybe we think we shouldn't.
To find the sweet balance of love, work, play, the three things to make a happy life seems easy enough. I have a hard time keeping the balance between these elements of life. I have a chronic illness that constantly keeps me checking in with what for 1) I'm able to do 2) need to do 3) want to do. That last one is a killer for me. I want to work more than I do, see more people than I am able to, and I usually need to rest more than I want to out of need. What a kicker it is to have only so much energy in this extremely driven personality!!! But I've been living with this for about twenty years so I'm an old pro. I check in with myself before I go to bed and first thing when I get up. me to self: "How much reserve do we have in the gas tank today?" (i.e.: spoon theory visit this web site for a great description: http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/) What was a habit of mine was being too serious about all the requirements of life and forgetting to give myself permission to play. Hey I only have so much energy the "I betters" outweighed the "I wannas".
Play is different for everyone even for kids. Some kids are non stop moving all day long while others want to veg. For me I've honed my play through the years. One of my favorite ways to get in my adult play is a massage. I love that I can kill all three of the able, need, and wants in one fell swoop. It 100% decreases pain, is time out and away from everything, and without it I suffer so I "need" it. But really I just love it. Hands down number one thing to do! I also love to watch thoughtful romantic movies, especially when they make me cry. I love to swim, or just hang in the water. My walks are my me time. I like scheduling "cocktail" hour in the parlor dressing up and all. (even if it's just me....I'm serious) I love being creative in any way I can whether it's picking out a new eye shadow, drawing a picture, or doodling. It's my time to shut off a bit and connect to the fun part of living. I have also started to include the art of silence in my time working at home. I often have music playing but have decided it's nice to hear neighbors come and go, silence, the animals outside. I feel like I've gained time in my day when I do that.
If you are struggling with playing as an adult take a few moments now. What brings you joy? Is it your family, or time away from your family, which is totally healthy and allowed. Decide what you're perfect play hour or day would look like and start making it happen. Without play in life everything starts to feel gray and heavy and life is way too serious. When you learn to play a little more or a little harder you will find that Monday morning comes easier and you're relationships seem healthier. What is play for you? How do you work it into your day, week, year? Don't give in it can take some work, it doesn't always come as easily for us serious adults. But the rewards are worth it. Find your balance and for goodness sake if you have a pool I will bring the drinks and a big hat.
Welcome to Healthy Home & Heart. I am a full-time healer, folk herbalist, and empath. I invite you to share in some of the journeys in this world of ours through my eyes.