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The Benefits of Adult Play

Play | Mental Health | Curiosity | Creativity | Fun | Friendship | Mindfulness | Music | Art | Love

Play “can be defined as “a physical or mental leisure activity that is undertaken purely for enjoyment or amusement and has no other objective”.

In order to generate ideas and create new solutions to problems, sometimes what we need to do is to take a complete mental break. This will allow your brain to activate new neural pathways. When we take time to explore, try new things or engage in an activity that makes you lose track of time (flow) that’s when you know you are ”playing” and your brain is loving you!

According to Dr. Brown, founder of the National Institute Play, Play is critical to the development of the human brain. Play has been shown to release endorphins, improve brain functionality, prevent burn out and stimulates creativity.

While we live busy lives, it‘s important to remember to make play a priority. Although as adults it can be challenging to make time for play, there are many ways to incorporate it into our daily lives.

Some tips to create some space for play include:

1. Actively plan things to do outdoors i.e. picnics, day at the beach, hiking, horse riding, mini golf etc

2. Incorporate technology free hours into your schedule. i.e eliminate the use of your mobile, tv, laptop, iPad for an hour or two a day and ask yourself “what would I be doing with my time if I wasn’t using technology”.

3. Think about different things you can do that is “not” productive.

4. Participate in doing something creative i.e listen to music, learn how to play an instrument, get out some colouring in pencils, draw, make art or try cooking up a new recipe.

5. Try something new, visit a suburb you haven’t been to, order something off the menu you haven’t tried, change your walking/running route, plan a holiday.

6. Organise an adventure themed activity i.e. giant mazes, theme parks, room escape.

7. Put away your mobile phone when you’re in a public space, look around you, observe your surroundings, make light conversations with strangers, meet new people.

8. Spend time with children, if you have your own, really get into their world and commit to being completely present with them. If you don’t have children, ask to spend time/baby sit your friend or family members children.

9. Host a games night, invite your friends/family to bring their favourite board game.

10. Attend a creative workshop, dance class, learn a new skill or language.

It's important to remember:

"We Don't Stop Playing Because We Grow Old; We Grow Old Because We Stop Playing."

-George Bernard Shaw

When was the last time you engaged in an activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose?

link to studies:

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