Sometimes being an adult (especially with kids!) feels like one obligation after another. Go to work, make dinner, clean, clean some more, do yard work, take care of the kids, etc. It can be exhausting!
But what if you could tap into the joy you had a child? What if you could bring joy back into your life — through play?
There’s Science Behind It
According to Emily Holland, playtime has a ton of benefits. You may even notice physical health benefits since play can help you have a healthier immune system. Playing can also boost your creativity, increase your empathy, reduce your stress, and help you have a positive outlook on life. And it’s fun, so why not?!
Everything Else Gets Easier
The best benefit of play, in my opinion, is that makes you happy. It gives you a chance to bring joy to your life. Why wouldn’t you play? I know you’re busy and doing a million important things, but if you add joy to your life, EVERYTHING else becomes easier.
I’m going to repeat that. If you add joy to your life, everything else becomes easier.
Think about how much you can get done on days when you’re in a good mood and feel energized. On those days, your to-do list actually gets a dent in it. Life feels easy when you’re happier.
Adding joy and play into your life isn’t irresponsible. It will actually help you more get things done in the long-term.
Use some suggestions below to add more fun into your life. You’ll be amazed at the difference you’ll feel.
How to Add Play to Your Daily Routine
1. Do your hobbies as often as you can. Our hobbies can bring us an incredible amount of joy — but only when we actually do them! Sure, reading a magazine about our favorite hobby is nice, but it’s not the same as actually doing them. When you focus on something that you enjoy, it can bring you to a state of flow, where you lose track of time and just enjoy the present moment. Doesn’t that sound fun? If you don’t have time to work on your hobbies, try spending just a few minutes on them. A few minutes here and there adds up and can bring you tremendous joy.
2. Spend More Time Outdoors. If you usually eat breakfast in your kitchen, take your coffee outside and enjoy some fresh air. Being outside can be invigorating and add a freshness to your day. Even on cold winter days, it’s fun to cozy up with your warmest coat and take a quick stroll. When the weather gets nicer, I like to head outside with a book, take my shoes off, and just sit on the grass and relax. It’s something so simple, but it adds a fun playfulness to my day. Extra points if you do this at a park!
Learn Something New. If you haven’t taken a class since college, let me assure you that learning can be so incredibly fun and invigorating. It can light up your day to learn something new. You can have so much fun — and learn some new skills while you’re at it! We are lucky to be living in a digital age with online classes available in every topic under the sun. If you have an interest in ANY topic, there is a probably an online class that will walk you through it, step by step. If online classes aren’t your “thing,” you can simply use YouTube, Podcasts, or even Library books to learn something new.
3. Do a Random Act of Kindness (RAK). This suggestion is especially fun to do with kids! You can pay for someone’s dinner, send a card, give a homeless person a few dollars, or even make cookies for a neighbor. Giving joy to others in unexpected ways is a great way to add smiles to your day.
4. Take Off Early. Sometimes it can be hard to take off work for a whole day, but an hour or two is doable. Shaking up your routine by giving yourself a few hours to chill out can make you feel like a kid again. For even more fun, you can use this time to meet a friend for lunch or coffee without having to worry about rushing back to the office. If you have young kids, this is also a great way to have a date with your spouse without having to pay a babysitter.
5. Laugh! There’s nothing like a big belly laugh to make you enjoy your day! YouTube can be an awesome resource for finding videos that will make you laugh-out-loud. Sometimes as an adult we feel that we’re too “serious” for funny videos or that we have no time for such “foolishness.” However, one or two quick videos may add so much levity to your day that you’ll be glad you spent the time. If you’re lucky enough to have a friend who makes you laugh so hard your tummy hurts, call this friend more often. This friend is good for your soul. We should all be blessed with this type of friend!
6. Take Small Frequent Vacations. Taking vacations more frequently can add more joy to your life. It’s FUN to go on vacation but if you only go once a year, consider adding more time away, in smaller chunks.
Imagine how much fun it would be if you spent a Tuesday at a spa instead of at work. Why not?! Yes, many people usually take one big vacation a year, but research shows that taking more frequent, but smaller vacations may actually be better. Taking more frequent vacations lets you enjoy the benefits throughout the year instead of just once. Sounds like fun? Go scheduled it!
I hope you’re inspired to add more play into your life. Let me know in the comments what you plan to do to add more fun times into your routine.
Emily Holland. Adult Playtime: 6 Ways to Bring More Fun into Your Day. https://chopra.com/articles/adult-playtime-6-ways-to-bring-more-fun-into-your-day