The Advantage Of Play
This may be the most important post I have published in years. Several years ago I read an article that challenged me to discipline my life in the areas of recreation and wellness. Out of that reading came commitments to nutrition, sleep, and exercise that changed my life.
But, there was another important principle that has stayed with me since. It is the power of play. We are living in a society that has a 'play deprivation'. A lack of recreation, laughter, creativity, and imagination. Read this post today and be encouraged.
What Is Play Deprivation?
You are being asked to play more. That should be great news. But we too often think that play is a waste of time and counterproductive. Let me deal with our recreation and wellness from the angle of play. It is no surprise that we have seen a lack of play growing in our culture here in the west.
A play deprivation can be the cause of many things. It could be that we are too busy or that we are too lazy. Or, that we fail to see the value of it. And there are serious signs to a lack of play (anger, loss of creativity, loss of confidence and exploration, health concerns, and social awkwardness). Thinking about these questions should stir your interest in play activities and result in greater mental and physical health.
“Play History” questions
When is the last time you played with an object? (ball, squeeze toy, or object). How do you relieve tension or stress from your life? What is the last memory, conversation, event, or circumstance that caused you to laugh out of control?
Here's another self-test. Give an answer to the following questions by stating ‘DAILY’, ‘WEEKLY’, or ‘MONTHLY’:
How often do you run? How often do you jump? How often do you laugh? How often do you make up a game?
Recreation and play can have a profound effect upon our attitude, social ability, and health. If you have had a 'Play Deprivation' over the past year, you may have experienced some of these side-effects:
ANGER, WEIGHT GAIN, LOSS OF CREATIVITY, NO CONFIDENCE, INABILITY TO EXPLORE, SOCIAL AWKWARDNESS
Running In The Street
Have you seen the commercial? A man is watching his favorite team on television and on the last play of the game they score a touchdown and win. He begins to celebrate wildly while the son records him jumping up and down and then running outside down the street screaming and yelling. Not your style of play? How about this assignment for today?
Play. Grab a toy. Grab a ball. Make up a game. Don't step on the sidewalk or hallway cracks. Go to the park and play frisbee with your spouse. Get together with frie d and play board games. And see if some of the tension in life sub-sides.
"But to what shall I liken this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to their friends; 'we played the flute for you and you did not dance...'"
Jesus, Matthew 11