When you were a kid, you probably really looked forward to summer. School was out, the sun was shining, and there were endless possibilities for fun. Maybe you went to camp, rode your bike every day, or just hung out with friends. Now as an adult, you might not have the same carefree attitude towards summer. After all, you’ve got bills to pay and responsibilities to take care of. But just because you’re not a kid anymore doesn’t mean you can’t have fun in the summer. In fact, adults need to play just as much as kids do. It’s important for their inner child to come out.
Think about it this way: when was the last time you did something purely for the sake of fun? When was the last time you let yourself be silly, or did something just because it was enjoyable? If you can’t remember, then it’s been too long.
Play is actually beneficial to adults in a number of ways. It can help reduce stress, increase creativity, and even improve your relationships. Doing something that makes you happy, without worrying about whether it’s productive or not, can be incredibly freeing.
Here are some ideas for how to do just that.
Make Spontaneity a Part of Your Life Again
In a world where we need to check our calendars several times a day, schedule every minute of free time, and plan for the future, it’s easy to forget how to be spontaneous. But research shows that people are happier after they do something spontaneously.
Being spontaneous doesn’t have to mean doing something crazy, like skydiving. It can be as simple as deciding to stop by your favourite store on your way home from work, or going out for drinks with friends on a whim.
The point is to mix things up and do something different from your usual routine. When you break out of your comfort zone, even in small ways, you’ll feel more alive and energized.
Get Involved in Some Kind of Outdoor Activity
We often tell kids to turn off the TV or put down the iPad and go play outside, so why shouldn’t we expect the same of ourselves? Being in nature has been shown to have a calming effect and can help reduce stress. It can also improve your mood, cognitive function, and sleep quality.
Wondering what counts as “playing” outdoors? Besides the basics of walking, hiking, cycling, and other forms of exercise, you can also consider bird watching, gardening, or even playing fetch with your dog.
Ask yourself, what makes being outside fun and enjoyable? Some people might enjoy competitive sports like soccer or football. Others might enjoy a more calming outdoor activity—like yoga or oil painting. Whatever outdoor activity you choose, make sure it’s something you look forward to doing and find yourself immersed in when you’re doing it. Your inner child is craving some outdoor time!
Tap Into Your Creative Side
As kids, we’re encouraged to be creative and to use our imaginations to come up with new ideas and solve problems. But as adults, we often stifle our creativity in favour of practicality.
Play and creativity are intricately connected in that they both involve an element of make-believe. When you’re playing, you’re not worried about whether something is practical or not—you’re just enjoying the moment.
So how can adults tap into their creative side and start having more fun? You don’t have to be the next Van Gogh. You can simply start by looking at the world in a different way and approaching problems from a unique perspective. For instance, if you’re stuck in a rut at work, try brainstorming with a colleague to come up with new ideas. Or if you’re having trouble coming up with dinner ideas, look through a cookbook or search online for recipes that inspire you.
Turn Aspects of Life Into a Game
Most kids love games, but as we grow up, we tend to see life as a series of obligations and responsibilities. By gamifying aspects of your life, you can make them more fun and enjoyable.
For example, try turning your morning commute into a game. See how many different routes you can take to get to work, or see if you can beat your previous best time (without driving over the speed limit, of course). If you’re trying to eat healthier, turn it into a challenge and see how long you can go without eating junk food.
Research has shown that gamification has a positive impact on health and well-being. So give it a try and see how it can make your life more fun.
Life Is Meant to Be Fun, Your Inner Child Will Love It
Your inner child is waiting to come out and play. Don’t be afraid to let loose and have some fun. What’s your favourite way to “play” as an adult and feel like a kid again? Feel free to let us on our Instagram! And if you want more ideas on how to let your inner child shine, read our blog post about the importance of experiencing new things.