In Praise of Play

 

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When was the last time you really played? When did you last do something just because it was fun, not because it was good for you, or exercise, or accomplished some task in the process? When was the last time you played something that did not involve a screen?

Play is about the process. It is about not caring how things work out. It is not caring if you color outside the lines, or if you don’t win the card game, or if anything tangible is produced at all. ¬†Most adults and many children have had the concept of free play, play without a purpose, drummed out of them because they have over-scheduled themselves to oblivion, or they are busy watching other people play. Our brains are magnificent organs, and are capable of withstanding much abuse, but brains function better with play, and with breaks from screens.

For people with ADD/ADHD taking a break from screens is essential and helps to refocus scattered thoughts. Play enhances creativity, decreases stress, and rejuvenates us in a way that interacting with screens does not. Play can trigger the release of endorphins, and improve brain function. .IMG_4613

My challenge to you is to let go of the have tos, and the musts and embrace the want tos. Stop embracing the idea that being productive every waking hour is necessary. Stop and play, let go of the cult of being busy. Just like taking time to be outside and away from screens is healthy, taking time to play, without screens and without an investment in the outcome is mentally healing. Take care of yourself, go play.

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