Do you remember recess? Recess was the best time in elementary school right?!? It was a time of fun, it was a time to play! Why as adults do we forget about recess? Why don’t we play more often? I think we should take a stand right now and start a revolution for grown up recess!
Playing should be crucial daily activity for everyone to do. It’s a time to move, clear your mind, catch up with a friend, and reset for the rest of the day or for the next day! It gives your permission to abandon normal life, forget your responsibilities, be social, use your creativity, and focus solely on the activity. The benefits are endless but if you need some, here are just a few from helpguide.org*:
- Relieve stress. Play is fun and can trigger the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
- Improve brain function. Playing chess, completing puzzles, or pursuing other fun activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function. The social interaction of playing with family and friends can also help ward off stress and depression.
- Stimulate the mind and boost creativity. Young children often learn best when they are playing—and that principle applies to adults, as well. You’ll learn a new task better when it’s fun and you’re in a relaxed and playful mood. Play can also stimulate your imagination, helping you adapt and problem solve.
- Improve relationships and your connection to others. Sharing laughter and fun can foster empathy, compassion, trust, and intimacy with others. Play doesn’t have to be a specific activity; it can also be a state of mind. Developing a playful nature can help you loosen up in stressful situations, break the ice with strangers, make new friends, and form new business relationships.
- Keep you feeling young and energetic. In the words of George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Playing can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease, helping you feel your best.
Now what does playing mean to you? Be creative with it! Does it mean playing a sport, playing with your kids, playing with your animals, go on a run with a friend, maybe it’s buying a parachute and having people run underneath it? No matter what it means to you…. Let’s get out and Play!