The Importance of Play

The Importance of Play

Krista (Bringley) Cain

If you haven’t been around a young kid or a pet in awhile (or even if you have, but you’ve been focused on keeping them alive or other necessities), it is easy to forget about the importance and magic of play. We often think of play as something that’s just for kids, and even if we think of play as possible for anyone, we still might think we don’t have time. And yet, play can improve our lives no matter what our age is through curiosity, creativity, joy, and laughter!

Think about it, the last time you really played or watched someone play, what happened?  My guess is there was wonder, eyes lit up, joy in little things, and you remembered a simplicity that felt fresh and exciting!  You may have laughed or come away with a lighter heart or a fresh perspective.

Our world has a lot of pressures, and it is easy to get caught up running from necessity to necessity. Kids (and pets) don’t realize all these things they “have” to do yet, so they naturally go to play. Even though we have a lot to do, it turns out that play isn’t a luxury for us as adults. Instead, it is a release valve that helps keep us well by refreshing us so we have the energy to keep going and giving us a chance to remember what is actually a priority.

So jump in a puddle, color without worrying if it looks right (the sun looks good in purple, right?), wear something ridiculous, play with your pet, or just let yourself have a little time with a friend, a hobby, or a game. Want some kids or animals to help lead the way and don’t have access to any?  Volunteer!  Nothing sounds fun?  Start with something that used to be fun, even if it isn’t right now, or with someone who will enjoy the play so it might rub off on you!  And if it feels like you don’t have time, do a two-minute version of play: find a joke, watch a funny video, or just remember a past time you’ve played. Trust that time invested in play will pay you back in renewed energy and, most importantly, enjoy

If you could use help finding your way back to play, give us a call at Life Skills Resource Group at 407-355-7378. Our Orlando Mental Health Counselors would be happy to help!