I’ve never lost my love of “play”. Whether that is swinging on a swing set, jumping in a pile of leaves during the autumn, making snow angels in the winter, playing hopscotch, jumping rope, or my absolute favorite, twirling. As kids the act of playing isn’t questioned. In fact, in some schools, there’s specific time set aside for play. It was a way for us to get exercise, socialize, get out our excess energy, and frankly give our parents and teachers a moment to catch their breath. But as adults playbecomes less of our reality and not something we block specific time for, value, or prioritize. And yet we still need exercise, socialization, outlets for our energy. And now the person that needs to catch their breath is us.That’s why for this “Things We Love” article we are on a mission to bring play back into our lives.
Let’s make “Adult Recess” something that is prioritized and scheduled; spontaneous and energizing; childlike and nostalgic; and whatever you might need it to be.This is not a new concept. There are companies out there that are building travel and services around this need. Things like “Adult Summer Camp” and public park spaces that are being built for adults and seniors to get out and be active. But, while it’s not a new concept, it’s not necessarily something that we schedule into our busy lives or that our employers proactively encourage during the workday.So, for me it was a great to see Colin MacDonald from Parkour speak at the 2018 TEDxin Seattle. Parkour is a non-profit organization that makes playgrounds and recreational spaces that encourage the benefits of play for people of all ages to “improve lifelong physical, emotional, and social health.”
They also realize that you often have to make your “playground” where you are and have activities on their website called Movement Snacks. But Adult Recess doesn’t have to just be about movement. It can be about stillness. For those of you that feel like you never have a chance to just stop moving and catch your breath, recess could be finding a quiet, calm, place to meditate, read a book, listen to music, take a nap, whatever activity helps to replenish you.
Does this sound like something you need a bit more of in your life? How do you get started? The first thing to do is identify what “recess” means to you.
• What gives you an escape from your routine and allow you a break from all your responsibilities and commitments?
• What helps you feel restored and energized to tackle the things you need to each day?
• Does connecting and engaging with others energize you? Or does giving yourself some alone time sound like what you need?Once you’ve considered what “recess” means to you and the environment that’s needed, then it’s time to identify some activities and spaces to do this. Don’t make it just one thing. Come up with a list of ideas so you’re readyto dive in when you find that moment.
For me it’s about movement combined with nostalgia. Meaning, things that remind me of what it was like to be a kid. My husband laughs at me as I take advantage of any hopscotch grids chalked on the sidewalk, or when I walk along curbs like they are a balance beam, and when I find an open swing at a park. What will it be for you? We’re always looking for new ideas to share with the community. And extra credit for low cost to no cost adult recess techniques. Please share your ideas with the community @The Corner.
Other articles on Adult Recess and its benefits:
Outside Magazine Online: Grown-Ups Need to Play More. Adult Recess Can Help.
Adults need recess too. Here’s why you should make time to play.
Photo by Oleg Magni from Pexels