THE SUMMER OF PLAY
finding your fun as a grown-up
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When we imagine the concept of play, we are automatically brought back to the innocent, joyful, and simpler times of childhood. We are nostalgic for the time in our lives when all we had to worry about was having fun and enjoying the make-believe magic that our brains created. As we become adults, more pressing and serious things take priority, and we are often left with a life routine that neglects our very basic need to play, to be creative, and to do things just for the sake of enjoyment.
Play has been shown to release endorphins, improve brain functionality, and stimulate creativity in children AND adults. This month we are challenging you to incorporate more playfulness into your life, and to infuse a spark of wonder and joy into your routine. We believe, as well as many scientists do, that tending to this basic need for play will help us be more successful in our careers, have healthier relationships, and derive more joy from each day.
What is play?
Play is anything you do just for fun. It is a feeling we experience while doing something driven by curiosity and exploration. Playfulness can be manifested through dancing, jumping, singing, creating, socializing, and imagining.
In the Ted Talk that inspired this email, Stuart Brown, says,
"The basis of human trust is established through play signals."
As social creatures, playfulness is incredibly important for helping us bond and feel safe.
Here are our tips to incorporating more playfulness into your life this June.
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Getting started: what do you actually like to do for fun?
As adults, it is easy to forget what we like to do for fun, or maybe we just don't know anymore! So, the first step to incorporating more play into your life is to recognize what small things spark joy for you. Make a list of activities you enjoy, people who make you laugh or smile, and small moments in the day that feel fun and light. Actively choosing to do more of the things you have listed will help you have better days, every day.
Check out all the different ways you can channel playfulness.
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1. Imaginative Play
This type of play is what reminds us of childhood. The out-of-the-box play concepts that were driven by the imagination running wild. As adults, this can be experienced through creating art, crafting, cooking, storytelling, writing, acting, and comedy.
Set aside one day a week to participate in an acting class, schedule a craft night with friends, play charades with the family, dream up an interesting dinner recipe, take time out of your schedule to explore your artistic side, or simply imagine entertaining ways to share your daily experiences at the dinner table through storytelling. The important part is to let your imagination take the lead.
In this photo our master blender is playing around with new tea blend ideas. While exploring tea bases, she imagines what flavors will pair best and dreams up a blend that appeals to her creativity and palate.
PRO TIP: Incorporate imaginative play into your work day by drawing out notes instead of writing out notes.
2. Body Play
Yoga, pilates, hiking, whitewater rafting, riding roller coasters, mountain climbing, playing with your dog, and dancing all fit the mold of body play. When moving our bodies, it helps us to see possibilities and make connections we otherwise wouldn't have seen or made. It helps us learn what we are capable of, which gives us confidence, and what our limitations are, which is equally important to understand. You may discover that your adult body is much stronger, flexible, and adaptable than you thought it was.
After all, these learned movements are hardwired into our brains from childhood. Been a while since you road a bike or roller skated? Give it a try this June and see how you do!
In this photo, Nenada, who oversees all store operations at OBTC, is learning how to use the hoverboard! Nenada loves to incorporate playfulness into her workday by taking hiking meetings with team members!
PRO TIP: Incorporate body play into your day by opting for a stand up desk or a workout ball as desk chair to keep your legs movin!
3. Social Play
Social play is the type of play we share with others and helps us build stronger connections. As highly social creatures, this type of play is super important, but usually requires a little more planning. Try scheduling weekly tennis with friends, joining a kickball or a bowling league, or planning a game night with your family.
Also, pay attention to how people make you feel. You might feel your best around a friend who brings out a different side of your sense of humor. Make a point to be around people who remind you how to be playful and inspire you to laugh!
Speaking of laughter, try to have a willingness to smile and laugh at work and at home. Indulge in jokes, banter, and playfulness with coworkers and family. Joking, sharing joy, and being silly with your loved ones and colleagues will make your relationships feel more meaningful.
This is a photo of Kourtney and Bret who managed the Durango OBTC location together and nourished a culture of silliness and play at work. They both enjoy story telling and bonding with their team through humor.
Play more. Worry less.
Scientific studies show us that play improves cognitive function, helps us to deal with stress with greater ease and fluidity, enhances creative thinking, triggers childlike joy, and makes us laugh more often.
Incorporate just a little more play into your day and watch your wellbeing and happiness skyrocket.
We wish you a playful June!
"When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge."
- Albert Einstein -
Teas that bring us back to childhood: