We Don’t Play Anymore
Play was once an important aspect of your life as a child. It taught you a great deal about the world around you, and provided you with hours of entertainment. However, as adulthood took over, you may have started to forget about the essentials of play and the joy it once brought to your life. You may not be able to engage in as much fun as you used to with the responsibilities of work and family, but there are ways you can still inject some fun into your busy schedule and allow yourself to smile again.
- fifteen minutes a day: at the start of every morning, give yourself fifteen minutes to do any activity that gives you the most pleasure. It’s a great way to start the day off on the best foot and set the positive tone for the rest of your day.
- schedule pleasure into your calendar: even if it’s next week or next month, setting aside some personal time to do something you enjoy is a great way to prevent yourself from burning out. Whether it’s a simple massage, meeting some friends, or going to a movie by yourself, it can help you to unwind from a stressful week.
- create goals for self-care: giving yourself goals to achieve each day can make it easier for you to find something fun to do. It can be something as simple as learning your favourite dance routine from a music video, trying out a smoothie recipe you’ve always wanted to try, or reading a few pages of a book you just bought. Giving yourself that time to do something you enjoy will energize you for taking on those difficult tasks you’ve been working on.
- create a relaxation centre: there are some things that provide those small doses of joy in your day. It could be your iPod full of music, a small bar of chocolate, a mug of your favourite tea, or even a scented candle. Gather your favourite objects into one basket and keep them in a quiet part of your home where you can go to unwind. You can pick just one, or indulge yourself in them all, as long as you still have time at the end of the day to take care of your chores.
- set a cut-off time: work will always be there tomorrow. Set a specific time after which when you won’t do any work at all, for example a ‘nine o’clock’ rule so that after this time in the evening you know you can enjoy relaxing activities. This will minimize your stress and give you time to unwind before bed. Spend the rest of the evening doing things that you enjoy so that your body can relax and prepare itself for sleep much more easily.
Fun doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do something exciting. As long as you are enjoying the way you are spending your time, you don’t need to engage with others in activities you’re not interested in. Good mental health should be a paramount goal in all of your activities.