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“[People] do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.

Play isn’t just for kids! In our fast-paced, modern world, we seem to have forgotten about leisure time. That is, time that isn’t Person with long, dark hair smiling leaning back on a swing with arms holding chainsscheduled, structured, or focused on a particular outcome or accomplishing anything.

Why is playing so great? Play is a process, not an end goal. It’s not about being “productive,” which is why it’s not generally encouraged, at work or elsewhere. However, many companies are starting to recognize the value of offering playful work environments. Some CEOs understand that play encourages creativity. When you’re feeling stuck on a project or in the middle of a life transition, that is an excellent time to play and unlock all kinds of creative energy.

Play also builds bonds and connections between people, as you’re sharing a fun experience and enjoying a fun moment together. Play allows you to be present and in the moment, either with others or with ourselves. And that’s a gift in itself.

Play is daydreaming, dressing up in a costume or just differently than usual, playing frisbee on the beach, playing fetch with a dog, going for a bike ride with no destination in mind, or just acting silly with friends. Swinging on swings, playing on playgrounds, building snow people and sandcastles, and frolicking in the sprinkler are not just for kids. You can do these things, too, and at any age!

Woman holding child's hand running through a fountainIf you’ve forgotten how to play, think of an activity that brings you happiness and go do it! Hanging out with kids and animals is an excellent way to encourage yourself to play. Young people have limitless imaginations, and you can experience the wonder and magic through their eyes. Don’t take yourself so seriously all the time! Play brings joy, and why would we deny ourselves joy?



Written By:

Community Suicide Prevention Coordinator

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