“Joy knows itself.
As children we didn’t even know the word joy, we were joy.”
~ Francis Lucille, author
18th March 2021
Do you remember as a kid when you would play outside for hours and hours every day? Playing Kick-the-Can, Dodge Ball, Red Rover, shooting basketball hoops, rolling down a hill, or swinging on a tire swing? Those were the days – so care free. Play came naturally to us, we didn’t have to think about it or even plan for it. It was a given.
Today, play is hard to come by. At times, we even feel guilty taking Personal Time Off, worried we will fall behind at work, or we will miss out on something, putting our career or business trajectory off track. We work more and more and more, leaving us very little time for play.
As a result, so many of us are stressed out and exhausted!
But yet, when we make time for play, we get out of our heads, allowing ourselves to de-stress and experience joy and happiness. We also become friendlier and more creative; improving our ability to be present, solve problems and be more productive.
The world would be a happier place if we could all play more! So, pretend you are a kid again – go get dirty!
Taking the LEAP with you!
The Importance of Play in Our Lives
If it feels like you have less leisure time and fewer unstructured “play” hours in your life, you’re not alone.
Consider these statistics:
The average married couple works 26 percent longer each year than similar working couples did thirty years ago. And that was before the pandemic, I bet it’s more than 30% now with all the home schooling and zoom meetings. Single parents and care givers are also under considerable more strain.
Leisure time among children ages 12 and under has declined from 40 percent of a child’s day in 1981 to 25 percent of a child’s day in 1997, and about one in four American adults reports no leisure-time physical activity. Computers, while useful, have consumed many of us to the point we look for all our entertainment plugged in.
- A landmark Surgeon General’s Report identified lack of physical activity, including during leisure, as a serious health threat in the U.S. In other words, even when we are having fun, we aren’t moving our bodies. Not only are we not moving, we are likely to be eating in front of the TV while we are watching our favorite TV shoes or movies. It’s no wonder obesity statistics are rising.
The late A. Bartlett Giamatti, former president of Yale University and one-time commissioner of Major League Baseball said, “You can learn more about a society by observing the way they play as opposed to how they work.”
To this point, one of my favorite holidays to see celebrated is the Indian Holi Festival where everyone throws colorful powder or colored water on people in the streets. The colors are bright and vibrant. Everyone participates and has enormous amounts of fun celebrating Spring and the colors that erupt during the season! I hope to participate myself one day – it’s on my bucket list. In the meantime, I hope to have an equivalent type of celebration during the next “in-person” event I host.
Our high-tech life with its accelerated pace has fostered a culture that seems to be always working, always rushed, always connected, even now when most of us are still working from home. With cell phones interrupting silent spaces, laptop computers allowing us to work from anywhere, internet connections through our phones’ hotspots, and home offices that beckon us all hours of the night and day, it’s hard to separate “play” from “work.”
Yet to maintain balance in our lives, and for our ultimate well-being, play is important. Lenore Terr, a psychiatrist at the University of California, San Francisco, and author of Beyond Love and Work: Why Adults Need to Play, argues play is crucial at every stage of life. In play, we discover pleasure, cultivate feelings of accomplishment, and acquire a sense of belonging. When we play, we learn and mature and find an outlet for stress. “Play is a lost key,” Terr writes. “It unlocks the door to ourselves.”
When we are completely involved in play, stress evaporates. We are not worried about our past or our futures; our cares and worries disappear. Sailing, playing a game of tennis, or being thoroughly engrossed in a good novel, we feel pleasurably alive and light-hearted. There is nothing like play that allows us to be present in the moment.
Play is also a celebration of life, helping us elevate our ‘happy’ hormones and energy levels. If you feel like you don’t have enough play time in your life (and who doesn’t), try these steps:
Turn-off. Turn off the television, computer, beeper, and cell phone for at least two hours a day.
Let your mind wander. Recall what you used to enjoy doing, or what you always wanted to do before we became so technology-oriented.
Include others. Invite a housemate (or a friend, if you can) to play, just like you used to when you were a kid. Nothing planned, nothing structured. Let your play evolve naturally. Or if you are not able to invite others, what did you do as a kid on a rainy day by yourself – color, build something, put together a jigsaw puzzle?
Think physical. Go for a walk, ride your bike, rent some skates, break out the croquet or cornhole set from the basement, go for a swim or a run.
Pretend. Pretend you don’t have any cares or worries. Pretend you have all the time in the world to laugh and play and enjoy. Pretend there is no moment other than this.
Any time you have the choice of whether to work “just one more hour” or give yourself over to play, consider what Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
Schedule play time for at least one hour a day.
Put it in your calendar!
If weather permits, go outside and play.
Make a snowman, snow angel, or a mud pie. Jump in the puddles. Play marbles or jacks. Or get some chalk, create a hopscotch and jump to your heart’s content.
If you’re not able to go outside...
Take a blank large white canvas or paper and splash colorful paint on it, one color at a time until you have a beautiful creation (lay lots of newspaper or dropcloths before doing this!). Use at least three colors to ensure vibrancy.
Coloring can be a great way to have fun and relieve stress. When you are focusing on creating the picture, you are not in worry mode – you are living in the moment. At https://www.stuff2color.com you can find some great images to color in poster size; some for less than $10 apiece (plus shipping and tax). There is a wide variety to choose from and even some for the kids. 😄
If you know it's time for a change in a specific area of your life, but you aren't sure how to make it happen, this is for you - Courage, Risks and Reward: Taking a Chance to Change Your Life - a 5-part Coaching Program compliments of The LEAP Network! Click here to download the program.
COMPLIMENTARY REINVENT STRATEGY SESSION
Join me in a one-hour complimentary strategy session to help determine how you can move forward in getting unstuck, and gain momentum to move in the right direction for you.
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Renée Blasky is the Founder and CEO of The LEAP Network Ltd.
After realizing her career in the financial industry was no longer exciting, Renée started her journey as a Start-up Business Coach by completing the Tony Robbins and Cloe Maddanes Core 100 Strategic Intervention program and she has never looked back!
Through her Get Results Without the Overwhelm Program, she loves working with new solo entrepreneurs to help them become the CEO of their companies. Using her unique process she helps them strategize, set stick-worthy goals, and implement an action plan. The program includes valuable resources to help them stay focused, create the right mindset, and stay accountable. She also gently pushes her clients outside of their comfort zones and helps them face their fears so they can achieve their dreams. Renée works with her clients through various online courses, webinars, one-on-one coaching, and group coaching programs.
In addition to her own Get Results Without the Overwhelm Program, Renée is a certified trainer for Marci Shimoff's Happy for No Reason and Susan Jeffer's Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway courses based on their respective books of the same name. She is also in the process of getting certified in the Positive Intelligence program.
Renée, who obtained her CFA Charter in 1990, has over 30 years of experience in the finance industry and first entered into the world of entrepreneurship in 1997 after discovering several ethical lapses at her places of employment. She decided it was best to start her own business so she could dictate the values and beliefs from which to run her business. Renée's coaching clients are based all over the world, and range from various types of coaches, import/exporters, to direct line marketers.
Learn more about Renée and The LEAP Network by visiting her website here: www.theleapnetwork.coachesconsole.com.
You can also send an email directly to Renée at firstname.lastname@example.org (not “.com”)
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