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Hey, Adults - Let's Go Play!
Many of us lead such busy lives that we forgo fun and recreational activities. Leisure activities are usually pushed to the bottom of our “to do” lists. When asked, many people are unable to identify personal leisure activities. But well-being requires a balance of work, rest and play.
“Play can restore our energy and life-force,” says Gail Metzger, MS, OTR/L, of Good Shepherd Physical Therapy-Blandon. “Play produces spontaneous enjoyment. Children and pets are experts at play, so paying attention to them can help us relearn the characteristics that are innate to play.”
Play can involve socialization, chance (freedom of control over outcome), flow (loss of sense of time), fantasy or imagination, creativity and exploration. For adults, play can be a refreshing break from ordinary life and structured routines that at times take a toll on our physical and emotional health.
Ask yourself these questions:
What would I like to do with a spare hour that does not involve housework, my job or sleep?
What is something I would like to do but never have?
What activity revives me and gives me enjoyment?
From your answers, make a checklist of your leisure interests, then make time to try them, starting with two hours a weekend.
Still having trouble playing? Talk to an occupational therapist about how to develop a mindset for leisure and play. You may discover that overall you feel more productive and balanced with a regular “time out” for play.