Be More Playful!


PlayWhen we lose ourselves in play, whether creating a make-believe world, throwing a ball between friends, frolicking with our dog, or watching silly YouTube videos, we allow ourselves to get out of the linear, problem-solution, adult mindset.

We’re activating a part of our brains that we don’t use much in the grown-up world: the one that doesn’t care about deadlines or mortgages or how much we weigh, the one that doesn’t care how we look to others.

In the land of play, we make connections we wouldn’t normally make. We see things in new ways. Play can boost our creativity, heighten our mood, make us laugh, and can engage us in the world in ways that regular “adult” life often doesn’t.

Here are some ways you can add more play to your life:

1. Spend time around young children. You can’t really engage with young kids without entering the world of play with them. Let them show you the way and leave your grownup mind behind!

2. Take a walk or day trip without any plans or route. To make it extra playful, toss a coin to decide on the direction you’ll start out in. Then just go wherever you are drawn. Let your playfulness lead the way.

3. Do art without thought of success. Grab a random stack of magazines and make a collage, without worrying about whether it’s “good.” Finger-paint. If you do art or writing, do a piece in the style of an artist or writer that’s completely different from your normal style. Have fun. 

4. Get a couple of different magnetic poetry kits and combine them. Keep them where you spend a lot of your hours and play with them whenever you get bored or creatively blocked.

5. Invite a few fun friends over for a “play date.” Get some kids games, art supplies, even pieces of costumes, and just hang out and have fun. Make the goal to be to laugh as much as possible.

6. Play with young, active dogs. They love to run and jump! If you don’t own one, borrow one from a friend, volunteer to walk the dogs at an animal shelter, or go hang out at a local dog park. Even just watching dogs play can be fun!

7. Keep kids toys at your desk. Having them around will automatically lighten things up, but playing with them when you’re bored or in a bad mood will help even more.

8. Before you start on your commute to work every day, think of something you’ll look for on your drive. Maybe they’ll be blue pickup trucks, American flags, or houses with red roofs. Count the number you see by the time you get to work.

9. You know those silly cat YouTube videos you ignore when people send them to you? Watch them.

10. Dance. Do it alone, do it with friends, do it with strangers, but just dance. Any style, any place. You can’t dance while also being stressed and worried!

Adapted from article from
10 Ways to Make Your Life More Playful By Melissa Kirk