top of page

Grown Ups Need To Play Too

Play is essential for humans and should not be left only to children.

Play, in the modern world, is all too often saved only for children. You might be one of these people who feels that play, innocent fun and adventures are for children only.

Play has been a part of human life since the dawn of time. Play is what children do, and it’s something that children should be allowed to do. My entire platform exists to advocate for childhood play. But what if I told you that the magic of childhood is not just for children? That grown-ups deserve that magic in their lives too.

What if we stopped viewing play as a reward for hard work and started viewing it as a necessity? As a human right? Play is the most important thing we can do as humans. It’s what makes us human. Play is how we learn, how we connect with others, and how we grow into our fullest potential as human beings. We need to stop taking play for granted and start making it a priority in our lives.

Because play not only has physiological and neurological benefits, it also has emotional and social benefits. It helps us to feel good about ourselves and connected to others. And we need that right now more than ever.

Often as we enter adulthood, especially becoming parents or caregivers, we get caught in a trap; we lead busy lives and feel that there is no time in our schedule for play.

We may feel like we have no energy left for play or that it is frivolous and unimportant. And yet, science shows us that play is vital for our health and well-being. It helps us to cope with stress, recover from trauma, and more effectively manage our emotions.

In addition to the long term benefits, taking a break from a difficult project for a play break can actually increase productivity both in the workplace and for personal projects. Play is not only fun and enjoyable, but it is also an essential part of being human; play allows us to be creative and explore our world in new ways.

For those who were forced to grow up too soon due to childhood trauma or whose interests and talents were not encouraged or supported, play may feel unsafe.

The sad reality is, too many millennials were forced either by circumstance or by the expectations of society to take on adult responsibilities, even though they are still children. This is especially true for those who were raised in homes with addiction or mental illness, as well as those whose parents were abusive or neglectful.

Whatever the reasons may be, it's important to remember that many grown-ups need to play, too! When your brain is spontaneously stimulated through play, it creates neural pathways than can counteract stress and nervous system responses related to the trauma which you may be carrying in your body from the past. Play can help regulate the nervous system so one can feel more relaxed in everyday life.

There are many ways that we can play and incorporate more of it into our lives. The first step is to acknowledge that play is an important part of our well-being. We need to make time for it, and we need to be intentional about it. While there are many ways to incorporate play into your life, here are some ideas for getting started:

  • Take a bubble bath.

  • Go to the park and swing on the swings.

  • Play with an animal.

  • Read a book just for fun (no homework or studying! No self-development!).

  • Do something creative like painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.

  • Go outside and play on a sunny day.

  • Go to the beach or lake and wade in the water.

  • Play with a ball (tennis, soccer, etc.)

  • Throw a Frisbee around with friends or family members.

  • Go to the library and check out a new book.

  • Play hopscotch.

  • Have a pillow fight.

  • Throw snowballs (have fun with this one).

If these things don't sound appealing at all, then perhaps try something else--maybe baking cookies or making crafts? Anything creative will help stimulate those creative juices, which may end up helping solve problems later down the road!

Play is a necessity for all human beings.

It helps us stay balanced and healthy both physically and emotionally. Even if we don't feel like playing or think it's important, just remember that your body knows how much fun it really is!

27 views0 comments
bottom of page