The Importance of Play

I hope you’re enjoying the holiday if you’re in the U.S., and enjoying the day if you’re not.
Although Labor Day is unofficially considered “The last weekend of summer” in the United States, that actually isn’t why it was created at all.
Do you know the reason behind Labor Day?
Established in 1887, Labor Day recognizes the hard work and dedication of American workers by giving them some well-deserved time off! Amen to that. It started with a small movement and eventually became a Federal Holiday, inspiring many other countries to do the same.
The big question is: how are you spending Labor Day? (Click here and tell me!)
Are you taking some time off?
Doing something enjoyable?
As for me, I spent yesterday and today enjoying life and having fun. I played Yahtzee (the game) with my wonderful husband; threw the frisbee in the yard with our new puppy, Yahtzee (named after the game we love so much); and painted and created some clothespin crafts with our girls.

Painting with my daughter, Reese

As I was thinking about Labor Day earlier this week, my mind went to 10 to 15 years ago, when I hardly ever took time off to play.
It wasn’t that I didn’t want to play; I was just always doing something, you know?
Whether it was for my job, for my family, or for someone else, I hardly ever stopped moving! Can you relate? I actually thought I was saving myself stress by always “being on top of things”, but what I didn’t realize is I was missing out on life and burning myself out!
I also didn’t know play and rest are just as important as work.
What? You may be thinking.
Play may be important for kids, but it’s not that important for adults.

I know, I know – I felt the same way at first, too. But then I started making time for play – per a course I was taking – and something miraculous happened:

My energy returned!
I felt less stressed!
I felt GREAT!
So great that I consciously started incorporating play into my life more often: first monthly, then weekly, and now daily.
It took some time for me to give up control of everything and to learn how to delegate, but it got easier and easier – and my life got better and better. I started making more money, feeling better about myself, and – believe it or not – my psychic abilities also improved! (Who knew??)
Balancing work with play is nothing new, though. It’s positive effects are also not just restricted to me, either; I regularly give assignments of “play” to my coaching clients and they’ve seen similar positive results, too. Researchers, psychologists and large employers also know the importance of play for human beings – hence the introduction of gyms and yoga classes, arcades and games, and fun outings at successful companies like Google, Yahoo, and Quicken Loans.
Google employees playing volleyball at the company’s main headquarters
I’m sure you already know play reduces stress. But did you also know that:
  • Play improves your relationships?
  • Play increases your productivity?
  • Play keeps you looking and feeling younger?
Play also helps you burn off steam, increases cooperation among people, and aids in regulating emotions.
Pretty cool, eh?
But that’s not all; play can help you learn things faster, too. Consider how much easier it is to learn the months of the year in a song style fashion, as opposed to just simply memorizing them!
Well, there you have it; a big old case for the benefits of play 🙂 If you haven’t made time to play recently, I hope you’ll consider it after reading this, and not feeling guilty about it for one minute!
You’ll get the most benefits from play when you do it for more than 15 minutes. I aim to play for at least an hour a day, but sometimes 20-30 minutes is enough.
Short on ideas for playtime? Here are a few:
  • Play with a child
  • Do something creative, like painting or drawing

I love board games!
How about you? 
Play is actually such a huge part of my life and the success I’ve experienced recently that I started compiling huge go-to list that you can use if you ever need to. I’ll share it with you in a week or two.
Until then and before you go today,  I’d love to know:
Do you regularly take time to play?
What do you like to do?
CLICK HERE NOW and tell me; I love hearing from you!
XO
Jaime

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