As the air gets cooler and fall sets in, I decided to circle back and review some of the goals I set earlier in the year. One of the goals that stood out to me the most was the challenge to myself to PLAY more. Yes, like kids do. P.L.A.Y. This may seem like a silly or pointless goal, but I think we need to be reminded what play does for us!
Here’s what we daily check off our to do list: Grocery shop, go to work, take care of the kids, try to fit the workout in, run kids to activities, find time to eat, hopefully sleep, and then repeat.
When did we stop playing? We are currently one of the most stressed out generations, and when you look at our lives, one of the major things we have removed is adult play.
Finding time to play is one of the most beneficial things we could do for our mind, body and spirit. I’m all for the new fall workout program, or taking on a cleanse to clean up my body (I’m actually starting one next week), but I think for many of us our body is craving for us to slow down and set aside time to play.
Have you laughed today?
Did you know a good chuckle can lower stress levels?! Studies show that when people watch comedy or even walking with a friend and having a good laugh improves your memory! This also lowers your levels of cortisol, the hormone connected to stress. Stress damages the body by causing issues like headaches, anxiety and sleep problems. On the other hand, laughter makes the heart light and is apparently the secret to vitality too. When we play and generate laughter we give our body a much needed immune system boost. The laughter we produce in our bodies trigger happy hormones to the brain, organs, and produces a refreshing oxygen-action to the heart. This not only benefits our health but also gives our skin and eyes a healthy glow. The increased healthy hormones help with things like digestion, better sleep patterns and over all feeling of peace. So making space for things like activities with friends or play time with kids might just be what your body needs!
Solve your problems with play.
Studies now show allowing employees to take small breaks from work for workouts, a quick activity, or even personal creative time, increases their productivity. As a Mom and business owner, I often find this to be one the most difficult things for me to stay accountable to. I’m constantly switching hats from one role to the next, cleaning up after someone else, organizing snacks, or working on client programming. Recently I started to actually schedule white noise into my day. Whether its time just sitting in the sun, reading, or trying a new activity, I need to make space for myself to slow down, dream and get creative. The reality is when I skip this step I’m ¼ of the person I could be, a less enthusiastic wife, and stressed out Mother. This leaves me forgetting to laugh off the small stuff and just roll with the constant changes in behaviour and emotions of my children. As employees, bosses, and caretakers, we need to remind ourselves to step back, breath and allow space for our mind and body to play. Our health is depending on it!
You’re only as young as you feel.
As we get older, it’s easier for us to get stuck in our way of doing things, also known as a rut! As a trainer I have seen this many times with clients. What I love to see are my clients making space for fun activities like painting, a new sport, or some sort of hobby that keeps them learning through play. These clients tend to be my most calm, well balanced and healthy! Coupled with play, they also thoughtfully make wise food choices, exercise not just for aesthetics but for longevity, and are visibly appreciative for their health.
This season, instead of adding another to-do task to your list, make a commitment to open up some space to get outside, play with your kids, paint with some friends, or take that cooking class you have been putting off.
Photography by: Megan Bustard
One of the most beneficial things we can do for our body is to take care of the whole package-
Mind, Body and Soul.
It’s time to play!