Cast your mind back to a time when you had no responsibilities – for some of us that feels like a lifetime ago! Daily demands and the pressures of life can take a toll on our inner and outer selves. Connecting back in with our sense of fun and play can bring lightness and simple joy to each day. And who doesn’t need a bit of that?!
Here are some simple ideas to connect back in with your playful side.
Remember the thrill of collecting as a child? Whatever your treasure of choice, (stickers, shells, and crystals in my case!) – the joy of a scavenger hunt is ageless and restorative. Could your adult version be collecting daily photos from your neighbourhood walk, compiling your favourite quotes and poems, or starting a mini herb garden on your kitchen bench?
As author Keri Smith says, ‘at any given moment, no matter where you are, there are hundreds of things around you that are interesting and worth documenting’. Kerri’s marvellous book “How to be an explorer of the world” has some fantastic ideas for creating your own ‘portable life museum’ and could be the perfect way to find your own inspiration.
Thinking back on times in our lives that felt alight with promise and optimism can be a delightfully nostalgic exercise – idle daydreaming is a pleasure we often deny ourselves. The mental to-do list always demands our attention and seems to occupy most of the thousands of thoughts that come and go in any given day.
Challenge yourself to gently explore your internal world and let your thoughts fly wherever they might. You might be surprised at what ideas come to light.
Try something new
When was the last time you tried something for the first time? As adults we are so hard on ourselves, and the pressure to succeed sometimes curbs our creative instincts; turning otherwise joyful pastimes into job-like tasks.
Is there something new you’ve been wanting to try but it all feels a bit hard? Perhaps we can take inspiration from our brave child selves and start small – everything feels hard to start with. Applying yourself enthusiastically to a new activity expands the comfort zone and emboldens us to see possibilities. A new perspective and inspiration await.
Look for a laugh
Whether its hunting up comedy specials on Netflix, following funny people on the socials or reading a light-hearted book, enjoying a gut-busting laugh is the best way to banish the blahs.
The benefits of laughter are well documented to reduce stress and increase feel-good hormones – it’s even been linked to improved immune health. Notice what really tickles your funny bone – and go after it!
Playing boardgames is very serious business in our house. Bringing in a sense of friendly competition can shake us out of our normal mindset into one of play. Rituals like an online scrabble competition with friends, daily sudoku or crossword, or even a classic Friday night card game can be a wonderful way to bring out your inner competitor.
Perhaps you could even fire up some friendly rivalry at work via a step-challenge or fundraising event (virtual or otherwise!)? This is a great way to connect with colleagues– not to mention the mental dexterity from all that gameplay!
How will you connect with your inner child this month? Tell us in the comments below.