avoiding problems

How to Avoid Problems by Integrating Play Part Four

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Last week we looked at the advantages of having a bucket list in helping us play more and reaping plays benefits of light-heartedness, flexibility and optimism. This week we discover the essential questions to ask yourself when creating your bucket list.

 

The main questions to ask yourself when compiling your bucket list are…

 

  • What have I always wanted to do?
  • Where do I want to travel?
  • What events would I like to go to?
  • What activities would I like to try out?
  • What classes would I like to take?
  • What hobbies would I like to adopt?
  • What skills would I like to have?
  • Which sports would I like to try out?

 

After realizing many of my problems were a result of a lack of play in my life (causing me to be inflexible and have a reduced resilience to stress) I have to admit that I cannot wait to embark on more play this year and focus on my 40 before 40 bucket list.

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How to Avoid Problems by Integrating Play Part Three

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Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

After thinking more about the role play had in my life I realized I needed to make a play action plan. My strategy was two-fold, first I would force myself to take one day off a week and play with friends or family, the second was something I had already been working on – my 40 before 40 bucket list. When I looked over the bucket list after having realized what adult play was, I saw that almost 90% of it was actually play.

 

My list was packed with holidays, classes, hobbies and activities that I had never tried before but always wanted to, it was the perfect solution to my recent lack of play! I couldn’t have actually planned it better; the novelty factor would serve to add to my sense of fun and engagement whilst the holidays would add an element of adventure too.

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How to Avoid Problems by Integrating Play Part Two

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Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

In the past I usually thought of typical play as spontaneous – the type of play most commonly associated with children. After reading Dr. Brown’s definition of what play can include however it occurred to me that play actually falls into two main categories, both spontaneous and non-spontaneous.

 

For adults spontaneous play could be laughing and joking with friends, dancing or even singing along to your favorite song on the radio, whilst non-spontaneous play could involve board games, going to a museum or playing a game of tennis.

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How to Avoid Problems by Integrating Play Part One

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

Picture courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Throughout the years I’ve had a turbulent relationship with play. Being an all or nothing type of person I’ve gone from ‘all play and no work’ in my twenties to ‘all work and no play’ in my thirties. In recent years my desire to progress in my career has led to a more ‘all work and no play’ approach, which has admittedly been fuelled by my perfectionism.

 

After some discussions with my therapist I realized that neither approach had served me very well. If I wanted to increase my resilience to stress when it arose and reduce the possibility of burn out, I needed to introduce more play into my life!

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