Oftentimes play is viewed as a child’s endeavor. For adults, play is perceived as unproductive or labeled a guilty pleasure. Part of this perception is a natural consequence of added responsibilities. As we grow up our focus shifts to having a job, paying bills, taking care of family or other loved ones, and creating a structured life (Flannigan, 2018). Adults’ relationship to play also stems from a sense that it is something that we outgrow as we mature; but in reality, we need it as much as ever. The inevitable stress that builds up in unison with our mounting responsibilities and corresponding busyness can be remedied through fun activities, such as spending time outside, playing with kids, or taking part in a recreational league. Just as it does for kids, play can have reinvigorating effects for adults, not just on our bodies, but on our minds, moods, and general outlook on life.
Many of the benefits that play offers children can apply to adults as well. Play offers stress relief, stimulates and improves brain function, and strengthens our connections with others. By providing breaks in the day to relax and enjoy ourselves, it can also alleviate burnout at work. The countless benefits of play make it essential to a healthy and balanced life at every age. So whether you are looking for ways to actively engage in play through hiking, dancing, yoga, or recreational sports or seeking ways to channel your creative energy through coloring, painting, journaling, or playing a musical instrument, the important thing is to just get started. Are you ready to incorporate play back into your life, but not sure where to start? Take this short online quiz to find out what kind of play works best for you!
- Flannigan, C. (2018, October 10). Staying young at heart: Why adults should be playing more. Retrieved from https://www. fix.com/blog/adults-playing/