Remember when you were little and your biggest battle was convincing your parents to give you ice cream for dinner, you spent most of your evening playing and your biggest disappointment was bed time?
Those definitely were the good old days.
Although now we can choose to eat whatever we please for dinner, and bed time is something we look forward to, unfortunately our worries and stresses have taken over our thoughts, and in turn, our lives have become much more complex.
Playtime has become a thing of the past. Instead, we have overflowing inboxes, never-ending to-do lists and just adulting in general. But there’s something to be said for taking it back to the basics and a whole lot of benefit to gain from unleashing your childhood desires.
Do you remember what you used to love doing as a kid? Was it dancing? Shooting hoops? Painting? What did you used to do for fun BEFORE life’s responsibilities kicked in? And what makes you believe you can’t do that anymore?
While your inner voice may be communicating the following excuses, here are five reasons why you should channel your childhood and tell that pesky voice to STFU.
Excuse #1 - “It’s been too long – I’m too old for that now”
Okay, just because it’s been a decade or two, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pick up where you left off. There are many benefits of playing for adults including:
Improving brain function
Stimulating your mind and body
Boosting your energy levels
Will you tire out quicker than you did when you were six? Yes. Depending on the activity, is there a chance your body will be sore the next day? Also, yes. But, as George Bernard Shaw once said, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Plus, as an adult, you now know the beauty of a massage, so let that sink in.
Excuse #2 – “I’m embarrassed of what others will think of me”
When you danced as a kid, were you concerned about what others thought of you? So, why does that matter now? Channel your inner Beyoncé and just go for it. Chances are no one is looking at you anyways.
Excuse #3 – “I’m no longer as good as I once was, so there’s no point”
I think it’s safe to say that the majority of us who played sports, danced or dabbled in arts or theatre as children weren’t doing it because we thought we were going to be the next Mia Hamm or Meryl Streep. We did it because it was FUN.
If anything, the chances of becoming a professional athlete at this point has completely dwindled, so everyone’s expectations are much lower and instead, these activities take on much more of a social aspect. If you score a goal, great. If you can nail that pirouette, amazing. But if all you get out of it is a laugh, exercise and perhaps an alcoholic beverage, that sounds like real winning to us.
Excuse #4 – “I don’t know anyone who will participate with me”
While it’s nice to have a partner in crime, sometimes there’s nothing better than when you do something for you, completely on your own. It almost takes on an element of sacredness, as it’s truly yours. Plus, doing something solo gives you the opportunity to meet new people. There’s a chance your Monica, Betty or Carrie is waiting for you – all you have to do is show up.
Excuse #5 – “I’m too busy”
Aren’t we all though?
We need to stop taking life so seriously, and make time for genuine play and real, joyful fun. Your mailbox will be there tomorrow, the laundry can wait and Netflix can’t be your only source of rejuvenation anyway.
If you can’t fully commit to a season of sport or sign up for weeks-long sessions or classes, consider exploring part-time options or drop-in classes. Be spontaneous and kick it old school – you’ll be surprised at just how refreshing it is to let go and embrace the pure joy that comes from doing something you love, just for the fun of it.
What do you do to let your inner child free every now and then?