We tend to think of just children when we think of the word “play” – and whilst more and more research is highlighting the importance for children of play, time to just “be” and a needed break from academia, clubs, and other structured activities… there is a real importance for adults, too.
Play creates a sense of community. Engaging in adult play can increase social well-being and in positive relationships. Play relieves stress and can have a positive impact on mental health. Adults need time to play just as much as children do. So, what do we mean by “play” for adults?
Something done for its own sake. It’s voluntary, pleasurable, offers a sense of engagement, and it takes you out of time. The act itself is more important than the outcome. Play is a process. It’s about the enjoyment of the actual experience and is not always goal-oriented.
In order to engage in play as an adult, you need to find the type of play that truly takes you “out of time” and brings you joy. What gives you enjoyment just by doing it and without worry or thought of the outcome? It could be football games, painting, crossword puzzles, going to a dog park, colouring, playing a board game – the list is endless. The trick is to find what play is best for you.
Give it a try! Find forms of play that you enjoy and give yourself permission to make time for it! Children aren’t the only ones who are allowed to have fun! 🙂