I packed myself in my Prius, dropped the dog at the kennel, and told Siri to take me to Indiana. It was my first mostly-cross-country solo road trip. Starting point-South Orange County. Destination-Wherever my heart took me but probably Indianapolis. Pretty things and points of interest took priority over “getting there.” I caught the sunrise over the mountains on my way out of Flagstaff, Arizona, snapped photos at the famed Cadillac Ranch along historic Route 66, and visited friends and family back in the Midwest. The trip was my two-week, grown up version of play.
You may notice that this wellness plan I've developed is not called Eat,Give but rather Eat,Give,Play. Sure, I want you to eat well and perform acts of kindness. The research is clear on the health benefits of both. But what does play have to do with better health?
Scientists find that play has healing and growth properties not only for children but for adults as well. Among other benefits, play reduces stress, increases life satisfaction, and improves coping skills. Whether coloring, playing Frisbee with your kids, or joking around with friends, you enjoy a general improved sense of well-being.
Don’t wait for that big cross-country road trip to find some playtime. Play is a necessity and should be incorporated into your daily life. Here are a few ways you can sneak even ten minutes into your day:
· Build a Lego castle
· Play hide and seek with the kids
· Complete an item on my Bucket List
· Take a relaxing walk in nature
· Work a jigsaw puzzle
· Play putt-putt golf
· Visit a batting cage
What are you waiting for? Step away from the computer, put those work files down, and go run around barefoot in the freshly cut grass.