Make Time to Play

 In Lifestyle, Wellness

man jumping

Most of us don’t have time for play. We’ve also forgotten how to do it. We may think that play is just for kids and something that’s lost once we’re adults, but the truth is that we are all wired by evolution to play and it’s not just fun- it’s necessary.  Have you ever found yourself running through the ocean with friends, not giving a single care about any other responsibility, what anyone else is thinking of you, or even what’s on the bottom of the ocean floor? Have you ever gotten so wrapped up in a game, either a physical sport or a board game at home,  that you lost yourself in joy and the fun of the moment? We all have these experiences, but for most of us, it doesn’t happen enough.

What Makes You Happy?

For some, playing again simply means picking up an old hobby.  Maybe it was a love of biking. Maybe you loved to dance, and it wouldn’t take much to get you out on a Saturday night again. Perhaps you’ve got a dusty old guitar in the closet that is calling your name.  

Some of us need more encouragement. More data. More inspiration. For those who need more data, check out this article from The Washington Post to learn how play decreases stress, increases coping skills, and attracts a life partner. Play needs to be incorporated into our daily lives, not just pulled out a few times a year like a vacation.

Learn Your Style

Play looks different for each of us. Sure, some of us love being social butterflies, spending our free time having fun with others, but that’s not all that it entails! Play is also about our thoughts, and being amused by small things. It’s making light of little things and enjoying our lives.

If visual learning is your style, take some time to delve deeper and watch these two amazing Ted Talks by the founder of the National Institute for Play (yes, there is such a thing!), Stuart Brown, and movement coach, educator and founder of Primal Play, Darryl Edwards, who explains why working out isn’t working out and how play can fit into the equation. Or if there’s no time for a video, how about a podcast?

Need inspiration? How about a trip to the park? Our own coach Julie Ralston and Primal Play expert Darryl Edwards stopped by Civic Center Park in Denver recently to have some fun with patrons. They invited all types of people to play a game called “Hot Lava.” In this game, patrons had to run away from each other, making sure to stay on the sidewalk cracks. If they “fell off” the crack, they would be in the hot lava.  What first felt awkward ended up being an awesome day for everyone, from students to police officers.

Play For Your Life

Do you need some coaxing, or encouragement? As adults, play feels forbidden, or something for children. We have jobs to do and bills to pay. If we’re lucky, we can take vacations a few times a year. Could you imagine more fun, excitement, and movement?

Get started and try not to overthink it. Go play on equipment like a playground or parkour course. Run through a field with your family. Pick up the guitar or paintbrush, and having friends over for game night. There are so many great places to start. If you need some encouragement to play more, check out these 40 ideas to experience playfulness as adults. It may take time to dig deep and uncover the playful side of us, but it’s essential! Challenge yourself to more fun this week and see what happens.


““I Play” has taken me around the world, opened my mind to exploring countless new ideas, and changed how I feel when I open my eyes every day of my life.” – Darryl Edwards

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