Why Study This Mantra...You will learn how being playful has no age limit. You will learn the reasons why you've been putting off leisure activity and how to overcome them.
The act of Play has a critical biological belonging in our lives. It has an important role in our ability to problem solve. It's good for our brain health and for our survival instincts, which continue to prove relevant in modern contexts. It makes us smarter and happier. It improves our career and life satisfaction, and happier in our relationships. In fact, when a young person is deprived of play, they don't develop a normal brain.
We all know this, and we all value play. Yet as we become adults, we engage in play less and less. And we spend half of our leisure watching TV.
This month, you'll learn how even an adult's life can be infused with play. That play comes in many forms. You'll learn how to incorporate these forms into your life and maintain a playful life, that is, one full of play.
Before you begin...
Before you start thes practices and challenges, take a moment to rate yourself on this mantra. Give yourself a score from 1-10 (10 being the highest).
Do this again at the end of a month of practices and challenges. How much have you grown?
Today's affirmation: "I will be playful today."
As I look at my mantra today, it will remind me to find play in my life. If I have to, I'll set a Fun Minimum, like 30 minutes a day, or put fun activities in my schedule. I'll do my monthly challenge, overcome my constraints, and remove that pesky excuse that I've been holding onto.
There are a lot of ways I could be playful. They don't all have to involve a 2-3 hour activity, going some place special, or spending a lot of money. I could play a board game, finger paint, watch sports, jump in puddles, or make up a new rule to live by and try it out. I'll lean into activities that I'm interested in or enthusiastic about.
Or of course, I could just be silly. I could have a water balloon fight, blow bubbles, sing in the shower, dance, eat ice cream... the possibilities are endless!
We all value it. So why don't we do it? It turns out, there are some natural constraints that get in the way. This month, learn what those are, and how to overcome them.
Here are the three types of constraints that can get in the way of developing an interest in or pursuing a particular leisure activity:
- Intrapersonal constraints (feelings of guilt or beliefs about your capabilities)
- Interpersonal constraints (social factors, like a lack of partners or a spouse's leisure preferences)
- Structural constraints (contextual or environmental factors, like lack of local recreational opportunities, lack of financial resources, or demanding work schedules)
First, think of one (or a few) leisure activity(ies) you've been wanting to do, and what's been stopping you. Be honest with yourself.
Next, decide how you'll overcome this constraint. Feeling guilty? Tell yourself it will actually make you a better employee or family member. Nervous about your skill level? Tell yourself being highly skilled isn't necessary to participate and have fun. Too expensive? Find an alternative site that's more affordable. Too busy? See if you can't rearrange your work schedule to better accommodate down time. Don't have a partner? Where could you find one? Make sure it isn't just because you've contemplated activities you're not interested or enthusiastic about.
Finally, do it! Put your strategy in action. We'll see you on the course.
As I remove my mantra tonight, I will take 5-10 minutes, choose one topic, and write about it in my journal:
- What did I do that was playful today?
- What makes me grin or captures my attention for no reason other than it is fun for me? • What's a playful, even a completely fanciful solution to a problem I'm having in my life right now?
- Make a list of all the things I enjoyed doing as a kid. Highlight the ones that still sound appealing.
- Tackle my inner critic: Write down what my inner critic is saying to me. Write down all the thoughts that come up: You’re a loser, you’ll never be a writer, everyone hates your guts, you’re an impostor. Then look at it and ask yourself: Is any of this actually true? Or is it just the scared little kid in me trying to protect myself?