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Go Outside and Play!

When I was a kid growing up in Alabama, we spent pretty much every summer day playing in the yard. Every morning after breakfast, my mom would kick us out of the house, telling us to go outside and get some fresh air, and we would do just that until we were called in for lunch. After lunch, we would go right back outside and play until we heard the dinner bell ringing. And then after dinner, guess what? We would go back outside and play until it was dark! We were always tired, hungry, and ready for a good night’s sleep so we could get up the next day and do it all over again.

Thinking back on that time in my life makes me wonder what happened to play in my life now that I’m an adult. Where did this idea come from that once we reach adulthood, it’s time to be grown-up and serious?

Play, for adults and children alike, is necessary in order to de-stress. Play is a great investment in our wellbeing and helps us be our best when it comes to our jobs, parenting, and relationships. We may have the mindset that we are “too old to play”, but play keeps us younger and healthier by generating optimism, boosting the immune system, and promoting a sense of belonging.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. said Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.”

I think we should give ourselves permission to play every day! Maybe we no longer wish to slide down a slide, play hide-and-go-seek, or throw a Frisbee. But we can color with our grandkids, build a Lego castle, put a puzzle together…the possibilities are endless. Now, why are you sitting here reading this? Go on outside and play! 


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