Welcome to sunny August 🌻
With summer in full swing, possibly some holidays in the pipeline and a few slower weeks ahead now is the time to focus on our recreational time.
Giving ourselves time to play
, provides a creative portal for us to imagine, experiment, restore focus and energy and allow us to reconnect with ourselves and the world around us.
Play is anything we do simply for the joy of doing rater as a means to an end.
Whether it’s doing sports, listening to music, throwing around a ball, or drawing on a piece of paper, without knowing what you’re going to come up with.
As children, we picked up play naturally and instinctively. But as we grow older we get introduced to the idea that play is trivial and a waste of time. Unfortunately, many of these negative messages come from the very place, where imaginative play should be most encouraged.
The word “school” is derived from the Greek word schole
meaning “leisure”. But our modern school system, born in the industrial revolution, has removed the leisure out of learning.
This idea even becomes more ingrained as we enter the workspace. Not only do far too few companies foster play, many unintentionally undermine it.
But studies show that play has the power to significantly improve everything from personal health to relationships to education, to organizations ability to innovate.
Stuart Brown, the founder of the National Institute of Play found that play leads to brain plasticity, adaptability, and creativity.
It is also the antidote to stress - and this is key, because stress, in addition to being an enemy of productivity, can actually shut down the reactive, exploratory parts of the brain.
I love Greg McKeown’s description about “Play” in his book "Essentialism
": "Play expands our mind, fuels exploration and broadens our perspective to generate new ideas and see old ideas in a new light. It allows us to see possibilities we otherwise wouldn’t have seen and make connections we otherwise wouldn’t have made."