Why you should prioritize play every day
Today I want to talk about why I think it’s essential to prioritize play over productivity and to make time daily for creative play breaks for as long as we are sheltering in place and beyond. To infinity and beyond as Buzz Lightyear likes to say! I think our need for play is essential to our sanity and well-being. As the world shifts, changes and morphs into something new, I have a curious question for you: do you remember how to play?
When shelter in place was being suggested, then put into law here in California, I instantly went into hyper-productive thinking. Not an unusual place for me. As a creative, I always have access to more ideas than I could ever hope to implement. “Oh boy!” I thought to myself, I can lose weight, work out more, finally write my next book(s), launch a product I’ve been dreaming up… but I didn’t do any of that.
The connection between creative play and well-being
In fact, the first couple of weeks I was down with a nasty head cold and lingering cough. I wasn’t feeling creative or productive, I was tired and my brain was fuzzy with sinus congestion. Then as reality hit with changes in our lifestyle, our community, our world and I started to feel better, I began to listen to my body and my heart deeply. And I got a clear answer from my own inner intuitive guidance: Stop! Slow down! Play more!
The truth is, I always make time for creative play, it’s essential to my well-being. My workshops are called playshops. I believe we can play our way to better health, more successful business and more creative lives. I believe that solutions to problems come from creative play not creative thinking.
My version of creative play includes: walking outside in nature, snapping photos of things that interest me, painting, writing, reading poetry, creating collage, journaling and sometimes cooking. I like to skip. I love to dance. I really really love to get my hands dirty with finger painting or playing in the mud, sand or rain puddles.
What does play mean to you?
The reason creative play is more needed than ever during Covid-19 is because it will help you:
- Relax and ease stress and anxiety
- Find clarity when you are feeling overwhelmed or stuck
- Explore all the emotions you may be feeling: grief, anger, isolation, sadness, elation, joy, etc.
I know I have been riding a rollercoaster of feelings daily. I often use painting or collage to work through those feelings. Here are some recent JourneyCircles™ I created that represent play, calm and sorrow.
Yesterday I got on Zoom with a friend and painted out my grief.
The more we allow ourselves to feel everything and to pour it out on the page, the canvas, the sidewalk as we walk or run, the floor as we dance, the easier it is to come back to the fullness of our selves, to feel calm and centered.
Introducing 15 Minute Creative: A Daily Invitation to Creative Play
And if you’ve forgotten how to play, feel out of touch with your creativity or just need some connection and creative inspiration then I invite you to come and join me for a brand new endeavor I will be launching soon on Facebook and Instagram called 15 Minute Creative.
Each weekday I will share a video, some live, some pre-recorded with a 15 minute prompt to inspire creative play in your day. Most will be using whatever you have on hand. Some might require supplies you can order online if you feel so inclined.
These prompts will be perfect for anyone – no artistic skill or talent needed – and will often be appropriate for kiddos stuck at home with you who need to get some of their feelings and emotions out too.
I will also be sharing practice runs of these ideas here on my blog during the Ultimate Blog Challenge.
Sunflowers seen on my walk outside yesterday.
I invite you to play along wherever you love to spend your time. And to get it kickstarted, my creative prompt for you today is to open your front door and look around, really look, what do you see? A color, a texture, an object, an animal or neighbor? Remember playing “I spy with my little eye” as a kid? Take a moment today to connect to childlike wonder and awe at what’s right in front of you. Get the kids to play along!
I can’t wait to see what we can create together!