Last week, the topic of my group coaching work was self-expression and communication. I’ve always considered myself a pretty expressive and creative person, but when I actually stopped to take inventory of how I’ve honored these traits recently, I realized that I haven’t. It was a sad development for me, because in addition to being expressive and creative, I’ve always considered myself fun. Further reflection on all of this–as well as experimentation over the following days–solidified the fact that I (and everyone, in my opinion) need to remember to play, and play often.
Really, think about that.
All of us are so focused on and committed to various responsibilities – working to make ends meet, having and caring for a family, climbing the professional ladder, being disciplined to achieve our goals and dreams. The laundry list of to dos is endless. I know that’s how I live my life. I took the thing I love and consider my passion, the thing that brings me the most joy – writing, and turned it into a chore that just wasn’t paying off in my eyes. So what happened? I avoided it and completely zapped all of the fun out of something I used to love unequivocally.
No wonder why I was so depressed!
I may often have my head in the clouds, so to speak, but I’m also a realist when it comes to paying the bills and having a good work ethic, so I get that we can’t just shun all of our responsibilities and replace them with video games and wild parties (although I do miss the Metal Gear summers of my teenage years). But we can invoke more play and fun in our daily lives. How? Allow me to *~list~* some suggestions:
- Write for fun! Sure, it’s awesome to have a project to focus on with an end goal of pitching, getting an agent, getting published (or movie-fied) and raking in the big bucks and glory, but remember to take time out to just play with your craft. Find a prompt and just go for it, with no goal in sight. Just write for the sake of writing. To create. To weave together words. To play. You know I am taking this advice, right?! I may even post some of my prompted drabbles in this blog. (And if writing isn’t your thing, do the thing that is your thing for fun.)
- Get out in nature. Personally, I’m more of a homebody, but when I do actually go out in nature, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. Plants, flowers, water, all those naturey things are high vibing sources of energy and that’s why they make us feel so good. Plus, if you’re walking or running (from zombies?!) or hiking etc., extra yay for getting in your steps and getting your blood pumping.
- Color! Adult coloring books are awesome. So are high quality markers and colored pencils, and–dare I say it–crayons. I have an entire stack of coloring books that I pull out every once in awhile. I plant myself on my couch, fill my ears with awesome instrumental music (The Dark Knight! Game of Thrones!), and color until my heart’s content. Talk about a great way to unwind after a stressful work day.
- Cook. As long as you’re not me. ‘Cause cooking ain’t my thang, but I know that’s not the case for a lot of people. So, if cooking is your thang – then werk that kitchen. Also, invite me over so that I can indulge in a home cooked meal or two. I’ll bring alcohol (or store bought dessert). And tupperware.
- Board games! Get a group of friendly peeps together and bust out those board games. Or Cards Against Humanity. Actually, that would probably be number one on my list. And if you haven’t played CAH yet, do yourself a favor and buy a deck. It’s hilarious. It’s become a family tradition in my neck of the woods – our preferred way to end the holidays. But, ya know, my assholeness is hereditary sooo 😉
- Take breaks at work. Yes, being an adult and responsible and able to pay off your student loans is important, but so is taking breathers throughout the day to rest your brain and refuel your energy levels. Get away from your desk. Go chat with a work BFF. Take a walk outside. Hide in the bathroom and take a break from human interaction (or is that just me?). Whatever helps you take a moment to realign with your zen and happiness – do that.
Of course there are tons of other ways that you can play and have fun. Whatever they are, whatever it is that makes you smile and feel good – do it. Do it often. It doesn’t matter how old you may be, or what line of work you’re in. Play is important for all of us. Smiling, feeling good, vibing high, and being happy – all of it is so important. Otherwise, what’s the point?