How often do you do something just for the fun of it?
Once a week, a few times a week, or if you’re honest, very rarely?
If that’s you, you are so not alone!
Since I started out as a Joy Coach, one of the things that has surprised me most is how resistant people are to the idea of play as adults.
There are some sneaky misconceptions and fears that abound about play, like, play is just for kids; if I act playful I’ll be considered foolish and won’t be taken seriously; or, I just don’t have time for play (because it’s unproductive and a waste of time).
But we are really missing a trick here.
Science has proven that there is real power in the art of play.
To find out just what kind of power the art of play has, watch the video below or scroll down to read the rest of the blog.
Play can make us calmer, more relaxed, sleep better, have deeper connections with the people with love and care about – and that’s all outside of work!
At work, it can boost creativity, inspire new ideas, allow space for creative problem-solving, and more.
So, if this is the case, and it’s actually a really great idea to bring in more play to our lives – both from a wellbeing and a work perspective – then how do we that?
We’re tackling just this topic in Joy School at the moment, and it can be a real stumbling block – what does play look like? How do we bring more play into our day without dressing up like clowns or wearing pink bunny ears on our heads? (OK, hand up, I did do that last one. For work. Take a look here if you want to see whether pink suits me ;p)
Here are 3 ideas to get you started if you want to bring more play into your day.
THE SWIRL EFFECT
There are often activities, tasks or events in our lives that need to be done but we consider them boring or downright annoying. A really simple way to liven them up is to add some joy! To do this, write a list of your top 10 favourite simple pleasures, say walking, coffee, music, talking with people, patting the dog, or taking a bath. Then look at that list and see if you can “swirl” them into those tasks or events you find boring.
For instance, one of the ladies in Joy School last year decided she needed to do something about the fact she hated Hoovering. So she swirled in something she loves – music – and the next time we spoke she had a huge grin while she relayed to me how much fun she’d had dancing to her music while she Hoovered! It really can be that simple 🙂
RECONNECT WITH CHILDLIKE PLAY
If our aim is to bring out that playful self, then it’s worth taking a trip down memory lane and thinking about what you enjoyed doing as a child. It could be playing on the swings, pillow fights, marbles, colouring in (no shortage of colouring-in books around these days), arts and crafts or creating, bouncing on a trampoline or watching a Disney movie. Even dancing at home in the kitchen is a good one too. You can do most of these things in the privacy of your home, and the rewards you will reap are so worth getting through the awkwardness you may feel when you first start!
GET TO KNOW YOUR INNER PLAYFUL SPIRIT
I know when I’m in touch with my inner playful spirit, because a massive grin spreads across my face, I feel wonder and excitement fluttering in my lower belly, and often people will say to me they can see what my child self must have been like! And I take that as a compliment because that’s how I think about my inner playful spirit – the 4-year-old version of me who comes out to play 🙂
As I’ve grown a connection with this part of myself, it’s got much stronger and she comes out A LOT now 🙂 I’ve also practised letting her come out to play too (which is about releasing those fears of being judged above) and now she pops up all over the place infusing my day with fun, play, wonder and laughter.
So, what I’d encourage you to do, is start paying more attention to when that part of you shows up. It might sound silly, but even sit down and have a chat with that part of yourself, and ask, What would you like to do in this spare half hour we have? Don’t worry if you draw a blank at first, just the act of starting to pay attention to what makes you feel playful will help you develop the awareness of what brings that part of you out to play.
As I said at the start, play is far more powerful than people realise. So if you’re looking to enhance your creativity, productivity, focus, sleep, relationships – actually there are few parts of your life it wouldn’t positively impact – then get on this play thing!
Over to you
If you have any tips or tricks for how you get in touch with your playful inner spirit, or what brings it out, please do share in the comments below as what you say could spark a play revolution for someone else who is stuck for how to begin.
Till next time, have a joyful week.