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Play and self-care are distinct activities that often get lumped into one category. While they contribute to a healthy lifestyle, it’s important to understand their differences. Self-care encompasses scheduling time for yourself, talking with friends and family, eating well, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and engaging in stress-relieving activities. On the other hand, play is more of a planned activity focusing on joy and fun. It’s something that is done out of choice rather than obligation, often with no goal or purpose attached to it. Integrating play into your everyday life has a profoundly positive effect on your overall well-being.
Here are seven fun ways to start:
Think About What You Want
Make a list of all the activities you’d love to do, but never make time for. Then, pick one and make it happen regardless of how silly or “unproductive” it may seem. You don’t need to do things just because you have to. Sometimes it’s okay to do something just because you want to.
Let Go of Perfectionism
Perfectionism is a significant barrier to play. Stop trying to make everything perfect and enjoy the process. Let go of expectations for yourself and focus on having fun. Be open to making mistakes and taking risks.
Indulge in a Hobby or Interest
Do something that you’re enthusiastic about. Hobbies and interests don’t have to make money, even though society is often obsessed with productivity. Take up a new skill or get back into an old one you put on the back burner. Remember, enjoying something doesn’t require you to be good at it.
Sometimes the most fun comes from embracing spontaneity. Leave room for surprises and creative detours. Try going on a last-minute weekend getaway or doing something unusual, like taking the long route home.
Schedule Time Away from Technology and Screens
Put your devices away, unplug from the internet, and take a break from all screens. Technology is hugely distracting and often takes away any space for play or relaxation. While good comes from it, it’s essential to recognize the need for balance.
yes, it’s okay to get a little messy. Dig your hands into the soil, pick up some paint, make a mess, or run barefoot in the rain. Make a sandcastle, create something with clay, or do an arts and crafts project. This allows you to be creative and enjoy yourself without feeling it has to be perfect or lead anywhere specific. Getting dirty is healthy for the soul and unlocks a lot of joy and creativity.
Be a Kid Again
There’s no age limit when it comes to playing. Take some time every day to be silly and act like a kid again. Let go of your “grown-up” persona and have fun. Join an adult sports team, make funny faces at yourself in the mirror, or go on a roller-skating date with friends. Call your friends over for a game of tag or truth or dare. They might just join in.
Integrating play into your everyday life is taking a break from the same old routine and treating yourself to a bit of joy. When done right, it gives you energy, purpose, and joy, leading to a longer, happier life. However, it’s important to remember that play is not just for children. Adults benefit from it too.