When did you stop playing?
As kids, play was our whole world – getting lost in our imaginations, spontaneous adventures, laughter & fun – all inhibition-free.
But somewhere along the way, we knew we needed to “grow up” and leave all of that behind. The study, work, and domestic duties took precedence and so we put away those childish games somewhere in our memory, gathering dust.
Maybe like me, you felt you needed to grow up before your time. Maybe the idea of play frustrates you because it seems counterproductive. That was me with young kids, every time I tried to engage in play, I would just be counting up all the extra jobs I had to do.
But… What if I told you that play was therapeutic? That it could help you access a foundation of energy and joy? Would you be tempted to try some more play in your life?
Well, here, let me list some benefits:
It helps you relax & reduces stress;
Fuels imagination and creativity;
Improves mental resilience;
Connects you to self & others; and
Makes work more productive & pleasurable.
So what – you want us to grab some chalk and play hopscotch out the back?
Not exactly. Adult play is a matter of degree. You can find everyday activities and do them in a more unstructured and creative way. You could recall the things you enjoyed from your childhood or you could try something new: ideas, forms of movement, or inspiration.
You could even play in your wardrobe!
This is something I love doing with clients who are feeling stale, stuck in a rut, or like they can’t unwind or relax. I help them playfully tap into a part of themselves that was once wild and free. We incorporate playful, nostalgic, or childish elements into their style. It is amazing watching them experience a rush of joy and pleasure and see the renewed energy they have.
What might that look like for you?
- Playing with new prints or patterns
- Mixing up your jewelry
- Adding a throwback to a childhood favourite
- Playing with shapes and silhouettes
- Playing with details
Be inspired by these crazy playful ideas and find something you are willing to try.
If you are feeling bit self-conscious and worried about how you might look to others if you try this, don’t worry, it’s normal. That is what adulthood has done to us – we often live life from the outside in, more concerned about what our life looks like than how it feels. But take a cue from your inner child who was naturally playful, who didn’t care so much about the opinions of others because she was so lost in the experience. She knows how to play!
You may just need to reclaim your playfulness again by setting aside regular opportunities to just try things that tickle your fancy rather than being the practical and logical choice. Then give yourself permission to enjoy the change of focus and pace.
Playfulness may just be the antidote to how you have been feeling – disconnected, lacking inspiration, stuck in the same patterns and behaviours, and unable to enjoy yourself.
Need a hand?
I got you girl.
If this is so far out of your comfort zone but you know deep down that you feel stuck, detached and you’re struggling to find joy, maybe it is time to think about coaching. Book a call here and find out what working together would be like and see if identity image alignment is what you need.