Days without meat, days without alcohol, days without sugar, days without complaining… Needless to say that the ‘days without’-initiatives are gaining popularity, especially at the beginning of the year. However, once you’ve joined, it takes quite the effort to stay committed.
Have you ever, though, thought of days without playing? Probably not…
Ask 50 people when they played for the last time and I bet 10 wouldn’t even remember. Imagine you couldn’t recall the last time you had sex. Then it’s sure damn too long ago, right? Time to take some action!
We just don’t play that much anymore, which is a pity and a missed opportunity, if you ask me. Especially because it’s something we have all done for a long time. Once you decide to take life seriously, you start loosing playfulness in life. Your rebellious puberty heart transforms into a conformist one that abides to the rules of society. Unfortunately, we believe that being a serious person is what society is longing from us.
And of course, we hardly ever find time to play. There is always much more important stuff to do. Once those crazy important activities are done, we sink into the couch watching the news, or a new Netflix-series. However, there are better ways to disconnect from daily stress. Through playing games you can reconnect with yourself and your loved ones. How about that?
I would like to make an appeal for playing and bring some of its obvious advantages into play. This way you get to pick the right ‘low-hanging fruit”. Time to dust off that Monopoly box and dig up your set of playing cards.
Games are developed to carry you away with its fun. This is why your daily problems easily fade away while playing. For instance, during a game of chess you probably won’t be thinking of your difficult colleague. Or you can vent your frustrations on a squash court, imagining the ball being that dreadful customer. Certain facets of mindfulness are triggered here. While you keep full attention on your activity, the stress in your body is being released. You feel much more relaxed after a fun game, get a better night’s sleep which helps you to stay focused on your daily job.
It is the self-reliance aspect during playing that develops your creative skills. You are on your own to come up with solutions. While in the meantime, other players are eager to defeat you. Your creativity is sparked when all of the possible solutions don’t deliver the expected outcome. You need to try to find an effective way to tackle your problem. This stimulates you to think outside the box.
The intense bond between players of a (board) game should not be underestimated. You get to know each other better and in a different way. Playing together ensures deeper connections, which makes it easier to discuss difficult subjects. This is nothing compared to the connection you might have with the actors of your favourite TV-series.
I have only raised the veil of the many advantages of playing. And this goes beyond playing cards or board games. Just think of cool role-playing games. Not to mention sports… They all contain some sort of game-elements. And yes, even practical jokes can reduce stress and stimulate creativity. Beware though, not everyone is tolerant to those kinds of games.
Feel free to join ‘days without’… but also try out days with games, creativity and connection. Bet you will experience much more unforgettable moments with friends and family.