Play for children is crucial in their development. Often, as adults, we forget that same time for play is just as vital for our health. Adulting in work, as caregivers, living responsibilities, etc can be daunting. Even when it’s not, we may absorb the daily grind with little to no breaks. Our body cycles require play-time investments to shift our minds to better perspectives, cultivate positive inner connections, and create more community.
What is Play?
Play is open ended with two rules- it’s enjoyable and no harm done. Variety within play addresses the various sides of your well-being and all need to happen a few times per week.
Gardening, car washing, swim, run, park, yoga, sport, or walk. As long as it’s an enjoyable activity and you’re moving- be in active play. Mind set is as important as what you are doing. Pick an activity and go.
Quietly Play …
As much as we need active play, we need quiet play too. This is an excellent time to get creative, read a book, write, or whatever you love to do, quietly. The goal is gently engage the mind while simultaneously calming the body.
Engage in Play-
Play with others! Family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, or community event- find a fun activity to do with others. We need to delightfully connect with others. It changes our perspective within our homes, our work, and community. Being together just for the sake of amusement cultivates better relationships and environments.
What happens in Play?
- You disengage allostatic load: this means turning off the toxins long-term stress releases in your body.
- You decrease tension in blood vessels to promote healthier blood pressure and more oxygen flow. When the oxygen flows your brain, mood, and physical body heals itself better.
- You balance body chemicals better: relaxing engages the parasympathetic system which levels hormones, enzymes, and other biological chemicals that aid in healing. Plus it increases organ function.
- You sleep better.
- You help your brain. When you body calms and switches on the parasympathetic nervous system, it allow for more GABA. GABA slows brain electricity, that stress often increases, to allow healing, better concentration, and improved mood.
- You connect with your SELF more.
- You connect with your loved ones and community more.
In your daily health routine, make play an intention. We need to enjoy our life and the health investments we make. How we think or feel about an activity impacts its effectiveness- attitude directly affects your success. Love the space you’re in and engage in enjoying your life where ever you are.