Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Have a Play Date With Your Inner Child

It’s very easy for most of us to get caught up in our routines and dramas and all the other serious stuff in life. Those sorts of things are hard to ignore, but after awhile, being a grown up starts to make us tired and cranky. This is because we ignore our inner child, to the point that the poor baby has to throw a temper tantrum to even get our attention.

Here are some ideas for playing with you inner child and letting go of some of the stress of being a grown-up:

• Read fairy tales- we all grow up hearing or reading these stories, so why not revisit some old ones or pick up a new novel based on fairy tale? Let me know if you need some suggestions.

• Play in the dirt- gardening counts, but only if you get dirty and have fun.

• Splash in a puddle or dance in the rain. Run through the sprinklers.  You’re not a sugar cube, you won’t melt. Clothes dry.

• Color- a box of crayons or colored pencils and a pretty picture to color in can be a great way to let go of stress, channel some creativity and have fun. Color Cinderella’s dress green or Clifford Blue. It’s fun, it’s cheap, and it requires very few brain cells, which makes it great for those evenings that you feel as though your brain has been burnt to a crisp. This is perfect for people who think they aren’t creative.

• Play a game. Personally, I love It’s like having a virtual doll and doll house that you can decorate and dress for a few minutes or a few hours. You can find lots of free games on the internet, or visit the toy aisle of your local store.

• Play pretend with your kids or the neighbors. You might learn something.

• Swing. Point your toes, lean back. Close your eyes. Getting dizzy is half the fun.

• Take something apart to see how it works. I don’t recommend trying this on your cell phone or laptop, but an old clock or a broken toy can be very interesting. Not to mention that there is something entertainingly forbidden about having a screwdriver in your hand and a thing to unscrew. My husband does this all the time (and he gets paid to do it to really expensive stuff), might be why he seems so relaxed.

Whatever you do, take some time today, tomorrow or this week and play with your inner child. If you have kids, include them in the play date with yourself. Being grown-up is vastly overrated (Just ask Peter Pan). Go play. It’ll be fun, and it’s cheaper than therapy.

We don't stop playing because we grow old; We grow old because we stop playing.
- George Bernard Shaw

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