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Can you play this weekend?

All pandemic, politics, and no play make Jill a burned-out woman! Do you play? Do you do something out of your routine that you love to do, just for the fun of it? For some women their play is relaxing with a novel, for others it’s sports, throwing a ball for the dog, going to the movies, or knitting. Anything that you do for the joy of it is play!

Play is something you do for its own sake; there is no purpose to it, such as making money.

Play is voluntary; we do it because we want to because it brings us joy.

It’s fun, and it makes you feel good. When we play, we lose track of time. We become less self-conscious, we are in the present moment, and can experience becoming entirely absorbed by whatever we are doing. That is called a "state of flow." This state of mind can increase your happiness and give you a much-needed break from everyday stress.

Play can also keep us open to chance and new ideas; it can be improvisational in that we can make it up or change the rules as we go. When we are playing, we want to keep playing. The enjoyment feeds the experience. Play is a reward in itself.

The opposite of play is not work, but depression.

The loss of joy in life from a lack of play is part of the reason for the midlife questions, “Is this all there is? Did I miss it?” These questions can come from the feeling that there is no joy in our lives. We can only keep our noses to the grindstone for so long!

When we do not take time out of our busy lives to play, our happiness and relationships suffer. Women need to play. Play is joyful, creative, and fun. Play is transformative. If you haven’t played in a while, think back to what you used to love to do as a kid and try to do it, or something similar again. Creativity and play are interlinked. Creativity is the force behind the beginnings of all things; ideas, imagination, thoughts, hopes, and dreams.

Give yourself a well-earned break and be sure to play some this weekend.

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