This week’s theme is play.

How to define play? Basically, it’s a voluntary experience that’s not task oriented, feels fun, doesn’t have time constraints and makes you less aware of yourself and more absorbed in something you enjoy doing.

Play is an important pathway to happiness and well-being. It stimulates creativity and connections with others. It enhances learning and can help work out problems with adversaries. And of course it reduces stress levels and increases joy, which results in greater happiness and fewer physical ailments.

Here are a few ways you can bring play time into your life:

1. Turn off your tech! Put that phone down for a few hours. Get away from your laptop. Take control of your time and don’t allow others to interrupt or distract you. The world will wait and it’ll be there when you’re refocused on the demands of life.

2. Be silly. Laughing makes us feel good, and that feeling lasts even after the laughter subsides. Find opportunities for some silliness with your friends, your spouse, your kids, you co-workers.

3. Hang out with playful people. You know those people who always seem to be having fun? Surround yourself with them, pay attention to how they let go and learn to loosen up.

4. Indulge in a creative hobby. Activities like painting, cooking, crafting, acting, gardening give you chances to unleash your playful side. I’m not an artist by any means, but one of my favorite things to do is open up a new box of Crayolas, grab some paper and color.

5. Play with kids, either your own or others in your life. Make a cool blanket fort. Create wacky hairstyles. Build with Legos or join them to play with their toys or games. Engage in imaginary play with them. Goofing around will help you experience the joy of play from a kid’s perspective.

6. Play with your pet or a friend’s pet. Roll around on the floor. Have a game of fetch. Cuddle together. Pets make very willing playmates!

7. Sing at the top of your lungs. In the shower. In your car. Into a brush in front of the mirror. Let yourself go!

8. Do something physically fun and freeing. Toss a ball or throw a frisbee with a friend. Go dancing and don’t worry about what you look like. Jump on a trampoline or a pogo stick.

9, Remember what you did as a child that was fun and try to recreate those play memories as an adult. Build a sandcastle at the beach, make angels in the snow, go on the swings at a playground, imitate the animals at the zoo. Don’t take everything so seriously.

How will you play this week? What other ideas do you have for play?


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