As we get older, it’s hard not to take yourself so seriously. This isn’t a surprise – I mean, bills, jobs, relationships, responsibilities – they can make it difficult to maintain the care-free sensibilities you had as a child. Sometimes, life’s stresses pile up. Sometimes, it’s hard to relax. Sometimes, it’s just not possible to “take it easy.”
Here is a list of some of my favourite pre-adulthood things that I like to indulge in every once in a while to channel my inner child. Give a few a try – maybe they’ll help make life feel more manageable? If not, at least you’ll have a little bit of fun!
1. Blow Bubbles
Grab some dish soap and fashion twist-ties into bubble blowing devices and exhale some of that stress away. Maybe work on your belly-breathing while you’re at it?
2. Eat a Corn Dog
I am no stranger to enjoying the occasionally Pogo. I have one at least once a year at Buckhorn Berry Farm’s Pumpkin Festival. I seriously love them! Hot dog, mustard, deep-fried coating – how can you go wrong?! I’ve even enjoyed them world-wide (Cranky Yankee Corn Dogs at Castlepalooza in Ireland). Substitute this for any childhood favourite food, and BAM! you will instantly have less worries (at least while you’re stuffing your gob).
Grown-up colouring books are the rage right now. An Associated Press article from this week even reported that colouring books are beating out novels on best-seller lists! Maybe it’s not a move in the right direction for intellectual stimulation, but I definitely believe in the calming and healing powers of art.
So, whether you’ve picked up one the “17 Colouring Books That Every Grown-Up Needs,” or are just doodling on the craft paper tabletop at a local restaurant, let the creative juices flow and feel your worries melt away.
You know that saying about learning to dance in the rain? I don’t know the whole shpiel, but the gist of it is that life is about learning how to be happy even when crap is falling in all around you. Easier said than done. What else is easier? Literally playing in the rain. So the next time it’s raining, go get some boots on and have some fun.
5. Play With Your Food
Make faces on your plate. Blow bubbles in your milk. Decorate a batch of cupcakes like you would’ve in elementary school. Whatever you need to do to bring a little creativity and joy into the equation.
6. Play at the Playground
Taking time for play isn’t just important for your physical health, it’s also great for your mental health, too. And now that kids are pretty much attached to their iPads, computers, and video games, playgrounds are usually sitting empty, so you won’t have to feel weird about waiting for your turn to go down the slide, or taking up a swing that a 5 year old wants to use.
7. Race for Shot-Gun
I feel like the only reasonable response to someone yelling “Shot Gun!” when you’re on your way to the car is to bring out your inner Olympian and race all-out to the finish line. Hopefully, whoever you’re with will respond accordingly. If not, whatever, you just took the gold medal, baby!
8. Wave at Strangers
This was always a fun one when we were kids. My dad would start waving at random people driving by us in oncoming traffic. Once he started, the whole lot of us would follow suit. I can just imagine how puzzled people were when an entire family would be waving at them as we drove by. Always good for a laugh!
9. Play Some Ball
Pick up a ball: basketball, baseball, football, soccer, whatever you fancy, and go spend a little while at your local park. Basketball is my go-to. I get super competitive when I play, but have lots of fun and I’m sure it’s amusing for others to watch. There I am, a little 5-foot-nothing girl, getting upset because she sucks at sinking hoops, who eventually resorts to cheating and making up her own rules.
Enjoy the great outdoors! Be silly! Get moving! Be creative! Laugh so hard you snort! Life is too short not to.