Play is part of being human, yet it remains an elusive
part of many people's lives. Studies have proven
play is a major factor in the appropriate development
of social, emotional, mental, and physical growth for
children. But what happens when we stop playing
as adults? Are we stunting our own growth?
Why do humans play? Is it a requirement of
survival like breathing, eating, and sleeping?
Play introduces the concept of "balance" in
a busy life; it encourages people to seek
solitude in nature and allocate time for daily
laughs. Humor is needed to reaffirm our humanity
and sanity. Laughter releases tension and
stress, and builds rapport among those it
touches. It is through our play that we are
reintroduced to both once again.
In this time spent developing, challenging, and
nurturing the authentic self, the promise of
play--happiness--will be found.
Play encourages interaction, risk-taking, and the use
of imagination. Abstract thinking and creativity
are explored, and social, language, and mental skills
are mastered, as self-worth is strengthened. The
value of dedication and practice is also
learned. As such competencies are developed,
these skills cross over to other aspects of life.
on these inherent benefits of play, recess should be
reinstated for those over the age of ten. Until that
day--why not decide to make play a frequent event in your
life and add an hour or two of active play and creative
expression to each week? It may seem like child's
play at first, but once the magic starts, there will be no
question that this is what your spirit needs.
Genuine play occurs when you lose sight of yourself and
your life for the moment. You are totally immersed
in whatever physical or creative activity with no
awareness of the passing of time. You are truly
awake and alive. For some people, play may be more
physical. For others, it is a creative outlet for
expression. However, both types of play can satisfy
our basic need for curiosity, exploration, and fun.
In the choice for a long and healthy life, playing is not
just an option, but also a natural element of each
day. Moving the body is as crucial as eating and
sleeping. It is a proven fact that increased
physical activity--a hike, jog, or a round of
tennis--results in increased "smarts."
Physical activity is an essential part of long-term
health. As play is added to your days, you will
begin to see that the amount of time spent playing is in
direct correlation with the amount of energy you
have. Your newfound interest will also keep mood
swings in check, help manage stress, and build a stronger
Play is so good for our bodies. No matter your size,
shape, weight, or height, adding play to your life will
improve your self-image. When we become too busy to
play, we fall prey to diet fads or bad habits like
smoking. Playing hard and eating well will do
wonders not only for your temperament, but for your body,
too. . . .
The biggest tragedy facing us today is. . . the missing
awareness of the mind-body connection. This is why
play, through both active and creative expression, is so
important. Play is meant to draw us closer to our
own reflection, to see what is really inside our
complicated yet beautiful selves. The desire to
move, the desire to create, is and should be a required
element of every person's day. It is the truth
behind what makes us who we are.
Be yourself. Be your complete and authentic
self--not what you think others want you to be or what
society pressures us to be. Express yourself with
your body and your mind by being you, the person who you
are supposed to be. Use your time, energy, and money
not on dieting, but on passionate living achieved by
body-moving activities and mind-engaging interests.
the author of Permission to Nap comes
another reason to relax and have fun. Permission
to Play encourages women to carve out the time
in their busy lives for fun, whether it's sports,
crafts and other creative activities, or card and
board games. When we play, we relax, we feel
silly, we rejoice and we may just get in better
shape. Full of whimsical ideas, fun tips and
useful, nothing-but- enjoyable activities you may
never have thought of, plus encouragement to make
this essential happiness ingredient a part of your
life, Permission to Play includes many ways
to just let loose.