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Should we be playing more…

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (apologies to all the Jacks!)

You’re never too old to play, to be creative, to have fun. Did you know having fun is good for you?

As adults, many of us left play behind a long time ago. We go to work, but what do we do in our leisure time? … Many of us finish work, cook dinner and plonk ourselves in front of the telly.
Now that does have its attractions and its uses, and it certainly can help us unwind……until we realise that is all we seem to do. So have we inadvertently narrowed our lives down making us feel that we have no time for anything…. because after going to work and watching the telly, there is no time for anything else? Do we have a little time for play? Or perhaps at least some time off from our usual routine…. Perhaps a little bit of telly time could be substituted for a bit of fun!

Have you thought of doing something else? Kids come in from school and want to go out to play! Why can’t we as adults do the same? Well yes, there are the practicalities – I know dinner needs cooking and washing needs to be done etc, but with a well thought out routine perhaps you could fit in some fun time? For some there is sport and of course this doubles up as a fitness thing. There are masses of hobbies you could follow and interests that could satisfy or develop your creativity.

It’s unfortunate that right now we can’t play team games or get together with as many friends as we’d like, but there are things you can do by yourself or with your family. Board games are popular with many, or puzzles, or quiz books. When did you last do a drawing or some colouring – it can be very therapeutic. And when did you last throw a frisbee, or get the skipping rope out?

What play does is give the busy part of your mind a bit of a rest, and depending on what you do, it can waken up your creativity. A bit like the saying ‘a change is as good as a rest’. So ultimately it needn’t be anything particularly structured, just something different, and preferably fun!

There has been research regarding adult fun and how it improves and enriches lives.
Play helps us develop and improve our social skills. As adults, we continue to refine these. Play and playful communication is a fun way to keep up to date with social norms and have fun communication.
Play encourages cooperation with others, which is important in all walks of life. It helps us break down barriers and make friends, which is important in all stages of our lives. It can help us feel part of the community and gives us increased self-worth, making for a more positive outlook. Play has been shown to reduce stress and helps you connect with others. And of course, positive interaction with others is always good.

And if you would like a little science: Play encourages the release of endorphins, improves brain function, and it keeps you young and energetic. It has also been shown to improve memory and thinking skills, so all in all there does seem to be a lot of benefits for playing…….

So move over kids…. us adults want some play-time too 🙂