The Benefits Of Playing As Hard As You Work


Play allows us to look at the world for a different point of view. We more easily shift out of ...

What do you do for play?

Okay you’re an adult I get that. It’s okay; in fact, it’s a terrific idea to add more play to your life. This morning, I woke up early took my most appreciative dog for a walk, a few Frisbee throws and then a little weeding in my garden. That’s play for me. I felt alive and energetic and ready to start the day. None of those things may have any appeal to you and that’s okay. What you might want to do for play, just needs to feel like play for you and not for someone else.

Play is for Grown Ups

So why play? As a Life and Relationship Coach, clients often come to me because they feel stuck or even trapped in a job or a relationship or a way of life that no longer fits who they are. Play is a great way to shift our consciousness, to allow us to think outside the box. Play gives us this wonderful opportunity to get outside of ourselves, to get out of the problem or issue we are dealing with and look at the world differently. (For more tips on getting unstuck check out Seven Tips on the Art of Getting Unstuck.)

Take a break and let your unconscious work on the problem. For most people the thought of taking even ten minutes a day to be what they view as unproductive and play is met with resistance. You may be feeling that resistance even as you read this. The excuses are multiple.

▪ I don’t know what I want to do.
▪ I’m too busy.
▪ That’s just like a waste of time.
▪ I can’t afford to not be productive, and
▪ For those honest enough to tell me – that just sounds silly.

Some are embarrassed to talk about what they love to do, perhaps in the past they were judged or criticized. However, after the initial resistance comes a big smile and increased energy.

Why Play Works

Play allows us to look at the world for a different point of view. We more easily shift out of that stuck, overwhelmed place and let go of those unproductive thoughts that keep repeating themselves in our heads. When we take a break — especially making the shift from engaging our left brain to engaging with our right brain, we return refreshed. We see the world from a different point of view.  Play can give us a sense of clarity and allow us to be ourselves, to shift into our authentic selves.  Play is empowering!

Play is defined as an activity that is enjoyable but not necessary. What is play for one person is not necessarily play for another. Play is not competitive. It’s not the activity that’s important but how you feel during and after the activity. Take some time and plan something fun for the weekend.  After all, Play is for Grown Ups!

“Work consists of whatever a body is obliged to do. Play consists of whatever a body is not obliged to do.” Mark Twain

Amelia Barnes is an expert on divorce and relationship issues, having coached on relationship issues for over twenty years and led hundreds of individuals through divorce recovery classes.  If you are serious about moving on and being happy after divorce, contact Amelia at for a complimentary coaching session.

This article was originally published at Reprinted with permission from the author.