Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How Do You Make Time to Play Every Day?

I'm on Day 5 of my Have Fun Do Good Daily Practice: Move, Play, Reflect, Connect, and once again the biggest challenge for me is making time to play. It was easy to play over the weekend, but fitting it into the work week is proving challenging.

I know this is very commencement speech-ish, but I looked up the definition of play in the dictionary. The definition I found the most intriguing was:
a : recreational activity; especially : the spontaneous activity of children
which led me to the definition of spontaneous:
1 : proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint
and the etymology of recreation:
from recreare to create anew, restore, refresh
Isn't it interesting that we associate play with children's natural tendency to spend time creating new experiences? Do we play less as we get older because we learn to not follow our natural feelings, and to regard new experiences as risky?

If I ask myself in this moment what I naturally want to do that would restore and refresh me, I can think of lots of things like: bake a new cookie recipe, read one of the new books I got from the library, or go to a yoga class I've always wanted to check out, but I don't have the time.

Are we really only meant to play on the weekend? My question for you is, how do you make time to play every day?

Flickr photo credit: Play with Me!! uploaded by Ryan Carr


  1. It is interesting how we lose our innate ability to play as we get older. And it can be difficult to make time for playful activities when we're juggling adult schedules.

    As for your situation, I wonder if it might make sense to try to schedule less time consuming play activities... instead of baking cookies, just eat some (the sugariest, gooiest cookies you can find ~ dip them in milk, make a mess). Or instead of going to a yoga class, just spontaneously practice a few poses in your home (any balancing poses, tree or crane or handstands, are always good for a giggle).

    I work from home, so my play comes in small doses... with little reminders from my cats. They'll insist that I play ball or chase, or just come along and take a nap on my keyboard.

    Anyway, fun initiative! Good luck!

  2. I love the premise for your blog. I find time to play every day by streamlining boring tasks (i.e. doing laundry, running errands) so I can work in several fun sessions every day. I also have a small art studio/creativity room in my home where I leave out projects that are in process. Then, when I have a brief snippet of time, I can escape to my fun room to work on a project, such as sewing, photography, creating art, etc. You may find some ideas in the profiles on my blog of people who are reinventing their lives. Check it out at http://uncommonlifestyle.com/

  3. I can't help but play every day. Without it I feel less alive. I play everyday by living playfully. And I have a 3 year old, so I am playing with her often. I make sure to have playtime where I drop adult agendas and let her guide our play. It is often sweet, riotous and totally regenerating.

  4. Roseanne and Cathy - Very smart suggestion to make play activities smaller, and more frequent!

    Gabriela - Living playfully, integrating it into your everyday living seems to be the key.

  5. Just bumped into your site [have no idea how I got here...might be karmic in its way :-)] but loved this post and your 40-day challenge.

    I'm familiar w/ The Artist's Way, which you've mentioned. When reading that, I found any focused or lengthy artist date to be the biggest challenge and surprisingly not very refreshing. Instead of lengthy time, play time in short bursts was easier and often more memorable. Those short highlights/treats in an otherwise "normal" or even a bad day stick out for me like little beacons to keep my spirit free.

  6. Hi Jeff W.

    I've never heard anyone say they didn't enjoy their Artist Date!

    I think it is interesting that everyone has highlighted the importance of short, frequent and integrated playtime.

    Good stuff to ponder!


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