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Playfulness for Everyone

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

One of my favorite sayings is “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. There are so many different types of adversities whether war, death, illness, divorce, challenging children, accidents, finances, relationship, work, schedules, auto or home repairs, etc. How do you deal with it all?

Do you deserve a break from adversity?

When you consider people who require 24-hour care, generally there are breaks or team members who caretake. Do you give yourself necessary breaks or do you think there is no time or no one else to step in or you don’t deserve a break?

Well, everyone deserves a break; you may just need to be creative. Everyone benefits from balance in their lives. Balance softens the harshness of adversity. For instance, look at the photo above. By something as simple as blowing bubbles, the man is taking healthy breaths, relaxing and having a moment of sheer pleasure.

Can you feel positive emotions amidst negative?

Daily we all experience a range of emotions—some happy, some depressed, some angry, some anxious, some content. Experiences that are pleasing offer balance to the negative. It is too difficult to only live with negative emotions. The intensity is unhealthy both physically and emotionally.
Sometimes people believe they do not deserve pleasure while there is also suffering around them. Actually, the opposite is true. When you are suffering is exactly when it is wise to balance your emotions with a dose of pleasure.

How can you balance your emotions?

I contend playfulness is the answer.

What gives you pleasure?

• A seed that has begun to sprout?
• Music?
• Children at play?
• A puppy wagging its tail?
• A hike in the fresh air?
• Innocently teasing an adult friend or family member?
• The aroma of apple pie baking?
• The feel of a soft, cozy blanket?
• An ice cream cone?

There is a playful quality to the aforementioned ideas. You can certainly modify and add your own touch of creativity. The importance is being able to recognize that simple things can balance adversity and that is very okay.

Why is play valuable?

Do you know that play can lower levels of depression and favorably impact cognitive functioning? This means that play enables us to lessen the intensity of difficult conditions and enhance our well-being. According to Brooke Harris, MA, LPC, RPT-S “Neuroscience actually indicates that human beings are wired to play.” She further explains that there is a “…play circuit in the human brain that assists us in experiencing joy and other life-enhancing emotions…” So being playful could actually be preferred over taking medication!

Playfulness is wise at any age. It feels good. It is organic. It can be inexpensive. It is readily available.

Ready to join in and be playful?

¹“Playing for a Lifetime”. Brooke E. Harris, MA, LPC, RPT-S. Play Therapy, vol. 17, Issue 4, December 2022, pp. 24-28.