I admit that there’s a part of me that thinks it’s a shame we humans have to grow up. Whenever I watch kids play, or think back to my own childhood, I remember how simple life was and how much joy could be had in seemingly insignificant things like mud pies and dandelions.
For most of us, life is more about maintaining sanity than it is about joy. We schedule appointments to fill up our entire week and run like rats from one to the other.
But life doesn’t have to be that way. You can slow down and find that child that still exists each one of us. Just letting him out for an afternoon now and again will make you feel more alive than a year’s worth of appointments.
Create. Every kid that I know or have known draws, paints and plays with clay. Why do we suddenly stop when we grow up? What is it about age that squashes our inbred creativity? I don’t know, but take time to be creative. It’s a great stress reliever, gives the other half of your brain more exercise and is fun. And whatever you do, don’t try too hard or make creativity into a chore. Kids just create for the sake of creating – why not go for it like they do?
Nap. When I was growing up every kid in the neighborhood had naptime. Some of us liked it and some of us hated it, but it was good for us then, and should be good for us now. But most adults view napping as a sign of laziness even though studies show that short naps can increase energy and productivity. Don’t be afraid. The world will still be there when you wake up. Curl up under a blanket on the couch and take a nap.
Play. A child’s entire life is consumed by play. They play from the time they wake up until they go to bed. For too many adults, work becomes the substitute. I’m hereby telling you that it’s okay to play. Play games with your kids, play with your pets or play sports with your friends. The great thing about playing as an adult is that there’s no one to tell you to stop.
Take up childhood hobbies. Think back to when you were a kid and what kind of ‘stuff’ you liked to do. Did you collect and read comic books? Action figures? Sports cards? Doll houses? The point is that we all had our childhood passions that slowly slipped through our fingers as we grew older. Reach back into your past and pull out something that you enjoyed doing and do it again.
Daydream. Children daydream all the time, but with our busy schedules, we barely have time to remember where to go next. Take a half-hour and just daydream. And don’t you dare daydream about the big meeting tomorrow. Dream about something fun you’d like to do. Dream about being Batman and beating up your boss. Just let go of the world around you and jump into your imagination for awhile. It’s a stress reliever and it’s a hoot.
No one is asking you to give up all of the adult things you do. After all, the bills still have to be paid. But too much of anything is never a good thing. While we’ve all taken the children we once were and stuffed them into the closets of our memories, it’s healthy for everyone to let them out now and again.
Thanks to Life Insurance Lowdown for including this post in the Carnival of Life, Happiness, and Meaning, to The Next 45 Years for featuring this post in the Personal Development Carnival, to Widow’s Quest for inclusion in the Carnival of Positive Thinking, to Living by Design for including this post in the Living by Design Blog Carnival, to Intensive Care for the Nurturer’s Soul for featuring this post in the Carnival of Healing, and to Nourished Magazine for inclusion in the Carnival of Nourishment.