The Healing Power of Play

Hit pause on adulting! Five steps to re-connect to your inner child, and why giving yourself permission to simply play again can be deeply transformative.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Get out of your desk chair, and join me on the floor! Criss-cross applesauce.

Go Get Yourself a Toy

Seriously, what were you into as a kid? I’m talking LEGOs, dolls, trains, puzzles, coloring – you can finish this list. Do you remember the sheer joy of opening a fresh pack of crayons? Of mushing your hands in cold clay? Go take your adult paycheck and get yourself some dang LEGOs. Find some amazing artist that makes custom items. Get something silly that gives you joy.

Make. A. Thing!

Guess what, it doesn’t have to be documented on social media. Go home and paint, and don’t even think about technique or end results. Make a pinch pot. Go to a hobby store, wander your local craft store, or just glue some recycling together!

Try something new!

I’m an alcohol ink artist, but if you rifled through half my cupboards you’d see I have just about every art supply under the moon. Trying something new doesn’t mean you’re changing directions (though you may be surprised!). Try and fail, make a mess, laugh about it.

Rinse and repeat.

Block time to unplug and play, every day if you can! Heck, bring a building set to work and make something cool during your break. There is a reason we are seeing play-dough and other tactile and nostalgic toys popping up in progressive work places – it helps you mentally break out of the box.

Lose the “I’m not a ____” narrative

So you’re a career HR associate. It doesn’t mean you aren’t an artist. The boat never left. Also, just because someone in your family is “the musician” doesn’t mean you can’t try. This is another narrative that somehow gets ironed into our self-image at some point, and the sooner you can lose the label you’ll find that possibilities open up.

What You’ll Gain

  • Relaxation. Focusing on your imagination and creativity unburdens your mind.
  • Improved cognitive skills. Playing, building and creating keep your mind nimble!
  • Emotional balance. It is so rewarding to engage in an activity that is free of expectations and obligation – we as adults have enough of that!
  • Discover new interests. I wouldn’t have called myself an artist until I was 35 – it is never too late to try something new.
    Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

    You might also like...


    How Legos Can Make You More Creative

    by Melissa Chu

    10 ideas for creating a unique Christmas

    by Kelly Herrick

    The Original Lie

    by Michael Roderick
    We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.