Recently, a friend and I were discussing how an ability to play is required on our list of friend qualities.

In Aware Parenting, we talk about “attachment play.” It’s super-duper, and every parent should know about it! But it’s not what this post is about.

Moms regularly admit to me they don’t know how to play with their child, or they don’t want to but feel they should. Set that version of play aside for now.

There’s a larger implication I want to focus on. Do you ever think about how play applies to grown-ups?

play | plā | verb 1 engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose

Self care, Mama

I know you’re exhausted. Finding ways to keep play in your life counts as self care—even if it’s just in small moments.

My friend cited a quote:

“The opposite of play is not work; it’s depression.”

(Dr. Stuart Brown, psychiatrist)

Here are a few more (emphasis mine):

Taking time off to play does not mean you shirk your responsibilities, or that you aren’t a good parent or good productive citizen. In fact, it’s just the opposite: your level of agitation drops when you get playful, which tends to increase perseverance and mastery. Play has a real payoff.

We are built to play and built through play. It is important to connect to play if it has been lost – and many of us have lost it.

Both Dr. Stuart Brown, from this article > )

A life or a culture … deficient in play exists as a heightened major public health risk factor. The prevalence of depression, stress related diseases, interpersonal violence, the addictions, and other health and well being problems can be linked, like a deficiency disease, to the prolonged deprivation of play.

From National Institute for Play >

Play is not a luxury

It’s a requirement for being healthy–for all of us.

Wonder is necessary for gaining perspective and keeping an open mind.

This is self-care! What are the ways you play as a grown up? What are the things you enjoy? Find a way to do some of those things. This is a priority—it’s a matter of your wellbeing.

For me? I’m a rhythm tap dancer. Here’s a pic of me dancing in a duet I choreographed to a Bach Invention.

I also take walks and marvel at clusters of wildflowers; or I do an upside-down dance and send my friend a Marco Polo video in helium voice.

Find ways to play and do the things you love—for yourself. It’s imperative! 

For inspiration and a few moments of wonder, I promise you this site is super cool! >

“The Scale of the Universe”

(available in several languages)

  • If you’re a human, then a skin cell is obviously microscopic.
  • But if you’re the Eiffel Tower, then a grain of salt is microscopic
  • If you’re Saturn, then the Grand Canyon is microscopic
  • If you’re the Andromeda Galaxy, the Tarantula Nebula is “microscopic”
  • And if you’re a mitochondria, then a water molecule is microscopic