Why is it that as we age, many of us forget how to have fun? As we mature, many people forget to make time to play. Some see it as frivolous, foolishness, a waste of time, or some even think that they are too old to have fun. Contrary to those naysayers, studies on the impact of playing indicates that a heavy dose of fun is necessary and can provide immeasurable benefits.
The National Institute for Play (NIFP) (yes, such a place does exist) reports that “play helps us connect and stay sharp, maintain memory and thinking skills.” In addition, it can increase creativity, productivity, and feelings of well-being. This is true, especially for older adults. Lack of play, according to NIFP research, can have serious consequences – and, it makes life dull and boring.
Play is time spent without purpose and is something you do purely for the experience. A good dose of fun not only provides laughter; it can also promote empathy, sympathy, and help to develop trust and intimacy with others. The bottom line is that age is just a number, and old is a mindset. It is true that as we “grow up” play will grow and change, and our fun factor will expand. So as we age, we must remember to discover and cultivate what makes us happy and find a way it make it happen.
Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. It may not be easy, but you may just have some fun!
Ideas to help you embrace play:
1. Set the Goal of Playing More.
2. Decide What Fun Means For You.
3. Put fun on your schedule
4. Create a Play Drawer. (puzzles, games, adult coloring books
5. Combine Fun With Other Activities. (dance, exercise)
6. Hang out with a fun Person
7. Hang out with a kid
Make it a habit to have fun whenever, however you can!