And yet, as adults, we don’t usually make enough time for it. Sure we make time for recreation, but the -pure, unadulterated, no judgment zone, let loose and boogy kind of play that doesn’t require drugs or alcohol and seriously makes you wonder how old you are – kind of play, just isn’t as common.
But it’s necessary.
Throughout life, there are complexities that just can’t be worked out with logic. We aren’t made to be simple logical beings. Our emotions get the path to logic all twisty-turney, full of obstacles, and turn our roadmaps upside down. We have distortions in thinking (we, therapists, call them “cognitive distortions“) that get us all knotted up and confused.
Enter play. Through metaphor, rather than direct processing, we can often access our internal coping skills that help us problem solve. An indirect, but fun and meaningful, path to what we need that is already inside of us. Guess what that means?!?! We have full access to coping without requiring someone else to change!!! Wait, what???
Believe me (or don’t, it’s up to you), the power of play gives YOU the power to manage difficulties without relying on the world outside of you to suddenly make things better.
There are so many ways to play (that are considered adult appropriate) – recreational sports, music, dancing, exercise, trying out new styles, creating, building, etc. And there are even more ways of play, that don’t require societal permission, such as puppeting, pretending, sandtray, whack-a-mole, chasing chickens 🐔. Get back to your childhood roots, and play through your pain, obstacle, or source of conflict.
Tonight’s blog was courtesy of “I think I should write something because it’s been awhile” by self-critical me … and then later inspired by a trip to the play therapy office with my boys. All of a sudden each of us, on our own, were immersed in a self-focused journey through play. I was sorting miniatures (sorting is a theme in play) which fits with some things I’m working through, while my oldest was engaged in a battle with his diecast airplanes (theme of good and evil, and good was winning) certainly indicative of his tasks associated with pre-teen schtuff, and my youngest was constructing (theme of creating and recreating) and saying “mom watch” indicating a need for connection and building up.
And so … play!!!! It’s important 🙃