The Power of Play

When was the last time you played? I'm guessing it's not topping your To Do List. Maybe you even think of it as something only children get to indulge in. The truth is, play's key for your wellbeing and continuous growth - even as an adult. I might even argue especially as an adult.

Play influences our health, relationships, ability to learn, innovate and problem solve. Basically, how we show up in life. According to the National Institute for Play, a shortage in play "predicts impending health problems and personal fragility".

Before you get all doom and gloom about that statement, can we remember the prescription to take corrective action is to have more fun? I mean, what are you waiting for?

Diagnosis: Lack of Play

Figuring out if you're play deficient is probably a no-brainer. What might be less obvious, is how all work and no play can do more than just make 'Jacqueline' a dull girl. Other symptoms of living life on the low side of the fun-o-meter can include:

  • Suffering from feelings of burnout or excessive stress
  • Wearing drab clothes and muted colors
  • Eating an uninspired daily menu or relying on sugary foods to fill the void
  • Feeling low, depressed or bored with life
  • Resisting new ways of doing things

Prescription: Daily Dose of Joie De Vivre

So, what if adding more play to your life could improve your healthstyle and help you feel better in your body? Let's put adulting to the side for a few minutes, and see what happens with this Mad Libs-inspired exercise meant to get you out of your judging mind and into your creative flow. Do I really have to sell you on it?

Step 1: Fill in your answers to the following. You may want to print this page, or get a piece of paper and number it 1-26.

  1. Your favorite superhero
  2. A skill you've mastered
  3. Your favorite superhero's superpower
  4. Something your superhero wears
  5. Powerful adjective or superlative
  6. Article of clothing
  7. Your arch nemesis
  8. Three adjectives people describe you as
  9. Best compliment you've ever received
  10. Your superhero name
  11. Your favorite food
  12. Your favorite scent
  13. Your favorite sound
  14. Proudest accomplishment
  15. Your power mantra
  16. Name of your superhero land
  17. Something you tell yourself that holds you back
  18. Your highest goal
  19. Your anthem
  20. One thing you want to do more of
  21. Something you’re proud to be able to do
  22. Your turning point or something you've overcome in the past
  23. Name of someone who loves you unconditionally
  24. Your superhero sidekick
  25. Exclamation
  26. Fun adjective

Step 2: Replace the numbers below with answers from your list. For example, slot in your favorite superhero where you see (1).

Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to be (1) because my natural ability to (2) makes me feel like I can (2).

Just like (1), I’ve got my own version of (4). In fact, I wear mine every day because I don’t have time to waste being my less than (5) self. When I wear my (6) I’m so (5) that not even (7) can get in my way. I’m unstoppable!

Everyone tells me I’m (8a), (8b), and (8c). Sometimes I even get told I have the ability to (9). That makes me feel SO good. Hmm, I think it's time I have my own superhero name because I've already got mad powerful skills and superhero-stylin' (6). I've got it, (10)! Oh yeah, I can rock that!

When I’m (10), everything tastes like (11), smells like (12) and sounds like (13). The first time I unleashed my superpowers was when I (14). That’s when I realized “I got this! ”and felt what it was like to be (15).

Every morning I'm going to wake up knowing how lucky I am to be (10) of (16). All that chatter about (17), has no place in my world. I’ve got much more important things to do like (18).

To get me on my way, I’m going to start every day singing (19) and focus on (20). Since I'm an official superhero now, I'll even sing out loud. If ever there's a day I don't think I can be (10), I'll remind myself that:

  1. I can (21).
  2. I've already (22).
  3. (23) always has my back, s(he)'s my (24).

(25)!!! I’m proud to be me. There’s no one else who can (2) like I can. (15)!

Step 3: Read your story a few times.

Now, (10), what would happen if you lived your superhero story every day? No need to wonder, play with it.

Well, I'm dying to know. What did you think? Drop a note in the Comments.

Jenn SchaeferComment