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How PLAY is an act of self care

May 02, 2019 Kimberly Rushton

The Impractical Pig celebrates Mental Health Month

Did you know that PLAY reduces stress, encourages creativity, and can decrease depressive feelings!? We typically think of play as an activity reserved for children, but the more time goes on, the more adults are introducing ‘play’ into their daily lives.

With adulthood comes responsibility, endless screen time, and an overwhelming feeling that the stresses in life don’t end. Play comes in many different shapes and sizes - and more importantly, play gives adults the time to relax and focus on something other than work, money, kids, etc.

Here are 4 ways you can reap the benefits of play in your life. Have any of these worked for you? Please let us know!

1. Set Time to Play

You can say that you’re going to do something all day long, but if you don’t have a plan, it will likely never happen. Set aside 30 minutes a day that are dedicated to play. If 30 a day isn’t doable for you, make a plan that works for your lifestyle. This can be before the kids wake up, on your lunch break, or after dinner. Take time to dedicate to yourself and your mental health.

2. Color or Cards

‘Play’ can be anything. To reduce stress, there are multiple adult coloring book options. If you’re looking for something less artistic, play a card game on your phone, or break out a board game with the family. This will not only benefit you, but your loved ones.

3. Community

You can even join a community of people in your local area that love to hang out and play games. There are board games and brew events all the time at popular breweries or game stores. The sky is the limit - as long as you get out there and enjoy yourself, you’re gold! You may even find people you like to build a stronger support network!

4. No Screens

Just like how Edna Mode in The Incredible’s screams ‘NO CAPES!’ We are screaming ‘NO SCREENS!’ If you’re not playing a game on your phone, put your phone away. Studies say that the average adult in America spends up to 11 hours A DAY on screens. That’s insanity. Take play time to UNPLUG and be present in the moment. Your eyes and thumbs will thank you.

We hope that these tips help you in your mental health journey. Even if you don’t struggle with a mental health disorder, play is an important part of the human experience. Let your hair down, and TREAT YO SELF to some hard earned play.