This month’s Happiness Project theme is a double-edged sword of simplicity and difficulty. Playing and having fun should be foundations to live by, but how many of us can say we actually make time to play in our busy lives? May is a busy month for me. I’m working a lot in my day-jobs, preparing for my final assessments of my yoga teacher-training course, and making plans to move to a new city in a month. It’s the perfect time to cultivate some play-time in my life.
I make plays, but do I play?
Brené Brown has a chapter in The Gifts of Imperfection on ‘Cultivating Play and Rest’, its subtitle is ‘Letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth’. As I read about research evidencing the benefit of play in our lives, I realised I couldn’t answer the question ‘what do I do for fun/how do I play?’
In another chapter of The Gifts of Imperfection Brené writes about living creatively, and being creative for yourself. Reading this I had the (somewhat shocking) thought creep into my brain that perhaps by working to make theatre, I kid myself that I am being creative in my life. In reality, I’m working at my computer most of the time to the point of exhaustion and only occasionally actually playing.
I may make plays, but my life could definitely benefit from being more playful. Just today I heard Jen Carrington speak about the importance of scheduling none-work stuff into your day on the Me&Orla podcast. It’s time to get serious about play.
“Research shows that regularly having fun is a key factor in living a happy life; people who have fun are twenty times more likely to feel happy” – Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project.
Find your fun
This resolution involves spending time remembering/figuring out what’s fun for me and doing that. Always remembering that, as Gretchen Rubin, says in The Happiness Project “just because something was fun for someone else didn’t mean it was fun for me – and vice versa”.
Make time to play: May’s resolutions
Time to play each day
It is stupidly easy to fob off play for ‘just a little more work’. I hope that by adding this resolution to the list I can help myself prioritise play.
Try something new/different
This seems playful to me, and a fun way to break out of habits that might not be serving me. I love adventures, and stumbling upon new finds and you can only do this if you take a different path to your usual route.
Create for you
Because I work creatively it can be hard to fit creativity into my life for myself. I want to explore what this might look like, and hopefully have some fun along the way! One small way I’ve started doing this is taking part in the Me&Orla and Xanthe Berkeley project Hurray For Play over on Instagram. Find out more about that project here, and see what I’ve been posting here.
Happy playful May!