There are many facets of wellness, from nutrition and positive attitude to daily exercise. Today I want to explore wellness from a slightly different perspective. When was the last time you – um… played?
Yes, play – that’s what I said. Think back. You remember play, don’t you? That activity you took for granted growing up and thought you would always carry with you. Along with play comes a pleasant side effect that is sadly unfamiliar to many people – fun.
I recently located some of my friends from high school, and as I speak with them as adults, my mind goes right back to our high school days – and I remember some good times with them. We’ve all slept a lot since high school and there is a lot of muddy water under that bridge, but it is nice to have those memories of carefree living (meaning we were not financially responsible) and a lot of fun along the way.
Perhaps I’m the least mature of all my friends, simply because I was not forced to grow up at any point in my life. Yes, I got married and have to be mature in that relationship, but since I don’t have kids, I never had milestones to really remind me that time is ticking away. I’m basically the same person I’ve always been.
What’s that saying, “Growing up is mandatory but growing old is optional.” – ??? I don’t ever want to grow old. I want to be one of those old ladies who amazes everyone because I can live quite independently for a very long time. That’s the goal. I want to keep my independence – even if I end up living alone one day.
I wouldn’t mind being alone, but I don’t ever want to be lonely. The two are not the same. You can be alone and not be lonely. I cherish my solitude – I do! The time I spend alone is time that is not wasted. That is my time!
Something happens to adults along the way. We forget how to play and have fun. I realize that most adults call that “vacation” or “camping” (ugh) or “boating” or “sports”. Those things are fine and good – but I think we should try to do something fun every day.
I hear you saying, “I can’t afford to do something fun every day.” You are obviously lacking imagination, my friend. Fun does not have to cost money. Fun is what happens when you allow play into your everyday life!
Now you’re asking, “OK, Linda – how do YOU play?” Alright – I am more than ready with an answer to that question – thank you for asking!
I live near a lake. Every morning when I get finished with devotionals and coffee, I take a small bowl of grain out to the lake and feed the ducks and geese. I know a lot of people discourage that, but it is something I have done since we’ve lived here and I enjoy it. That is my way of connecting with nature and having fun. Yes, the grain costs money, but it’s a minimal cost.
There is one “duck couple” that comes around every morning and demands to be fed immediately! If I happen to be running a little late, heaven forbid, mama duck comes right up to the bench where I’m sitting and lets out the loudest QUACK! She will get my attention and get me motivated.
When I get out to the lake, the little duck couple waddle up to me and mama duck acts so innocent, as if to say, “Oh, you heard a loud quack? Hmm… wonder who THAT could have been, ‘cuz it sure wasn’t me!”
I’m like, “Yeah, right!”
Don’t forget to let yourself be silly now and then. Let your inner child go out and play! Goofing off, even with a few close friends, can put them at ease as well. And don’t forget to hug those friends! Hugging helps you feel more calm and close to the people you are embracing. It’s a definite mood enhancer and actually eases physical pain! It’s a good thing!
Smile! I know everyone says it – but if you smile it makes you release endorphins and helps you get over a funk if you’re in one. Studies have shown that people who give genuine smiles have lower heart rates than those who maintain a neutral expression.
Have you ever sat in a park and watched children? What is one common factor among all of them? Other than the fact that they are all short and wearing the cutest clothing ever, they are probably jumping around – a lot! Try to jump up and down a few times. That will kick-start your silliness and surely put a smile on your face! If you hurt yourself, you didn’t do it right.
You might want to explain what it is you’re trying to accomplish if you do this around your friends. Don’t just start jumping up and down without warning them. They might think you choked on a piece of food or something. You don’t want them to start doing the Heimlich maneuver on you if you don’t ‘xplain yourself, Lucy!
I invite you to find something fun to do every day! It can be anything – use your imagination. Remember, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It does, however, have to make you smile – maybe even make you laugh. That will lower your blood pressure and help your overall wellness.
Speaking of play – today is KINDERGARTEN DAY!!!
Friedrich Froebel started the first Kindergarten in Germany way back in 1837. Mothers are still thanking him for freeing up 1/2 days for them and giving them a break from their 5 year-old children! ❤