‘Play? Who Me?’

In January it’s easy to get caught up in thoughts of how to achieve the goals we have set for 2019. After all, we have to work hard to get what we want, right?

While hard work is important, play is equally important. Everyone benefits from the laughter and positive impact that play has on emotional and mental well-being.

My grandpa used to always tell me, ‘if you can’t clown around in this world – you will never get around.’

I saw a great example of this from my dog Finn. This winter is his first time experiencing snow. As soon as he saw the ‘white stuff’ he ran outside, full tilt and stuck his face right in it! He did it without caring what he looked liked or who was watching. He frolicked in the snow with fun and joy without a care in the world. And that’s what play does – it helps us let go of the ‘life stuff’ we all experience.

Play helps us bounce back from challenges by creating positive emotions and engaging different areas of the brain. It’s a great way to release our emotions in a healthy way. It rejuvenates us and allows us to laugh.

The laughter that play creates is healing. It lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, and releases endorphins.

George Bernard Shaw said “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”

There are so many ways you can bring a play mindset into your life.

Feeling upset? Bounce on a trampoline or dance – it’s almost impossible not to have fun.
Feeling overwhelmed? Play a game. Complete a crossword. Take a walk or hike.
Feeling anxious? Blow bubbles. Try catching them.

You can even try sticking your face in the snow like Finn did!

So… when you are making your plans for 2019… remember to make PLAY one of your priorities.

Until next time…