Fun is an important part of life. Animals and kids do it instinctively, but as we get older, work and the list of things we should do take precedence over having fun. Women are especially guilty of this vicious cycle. We may even facilitate the play of others, and put our own need for enjoyment on the back burner.
Have you ever dropped the kids off to play so you could go grocery shopping? Have you ever cleaned the house while your spouse was playing golf or tennis? Even those of us who regularly run or exercise—activities that could be defined as play—are often doing them to lose weight, lower our blood pressure or cholesterol, or to look good.
What constitutes play?
How about this definition: “activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose.” Play is anything that isn’t work. Play is what you choose because it’s fun and makes you feel good.
In case you’re having trouble justifying playtime, you might want to read “The Importance of Play: Having Fun Must be Taken Seriously” by Marc Bekoff. In the article, Bekoff presents a valid argument for playing as children and adults. “Play is a banquet for the brain, a smorgasbord for the senses, providing nourishment for body and spirit: sad then that as a society we seem to be starving ourselves of it.” The article goes into great length about the consequences for children and adults who deprive themselves of fun.
The bottom line—play, while not quite as important as air—is essential to our emotional health and more.
The message—it’s the same one we had as kids. Go outside and play! And if you can’t go outside, then set aside time every day to do something to bring more fun and enjoyment into your life.