Spring is that time of year when it feels easy to want to skip the doldrums of work, the humdrum of chores, and just go PLAY. All too often as adults, we think play is reserved for young children. I remember one thing I liked about being a mom was I was “given permission” to play, as long as I was with my young sons. With the boost of sunshine, or endorphins/serotonin/melatonin, whatever – I think this is a great time to take yourself on adventures to learn how to play, no kids needed! I give you “permission” to go play in Springtime!
A weekend of Springtime play
A past weekend in the Spring was an inspiration. I went to an event at a private campground with the purpose of creating art for Figment (which holds art festivals around the country in the summer). We share a cabin with 16 other adults. Unlike the summer camps I went to as a kid, these beds had good mattresses and indoor bathrooms in the cabins. It felt like magic was in the air, because goofiness and laughter permeated the place.
The activities included tie-dying, learning how to make your own sparklers (science fun!), wood working projects, painting (this was a particularly messy endeavor), batik, hair braiding, a grown-up version of Twister, one-man show, meals in the cafeteria, swings, nature walks and, of course, a big bonfire. People wore comfy onesies (if you didn’t know, it’s a huge trend. Alibaba lists having 788 different kinds for sale. You can even find Onsie bar crawls in most major, and even some secondary, cities.). Conversations went deep into the night. It felt like Adult summer camp (in the Spring).
Try one of these 10 ideas
You may be thinking you don’t know what steps to take to get into the adventurous mode this weather is urging you to do. Here are some ideas – feel free to modify or expand as fits you!
- Spring Clean. Getting rid of clutter can take courage, but it has great rewards. I remember an article written in a magazine I used to work for that says when you declutter, you also lose weight! Some have said it can help you create space so your finances will grow – which could also happen because you’ve found things to sell off, or get a tax credit for donating to charity. Or maybe you will find that one project you’ve been meaning to do, and have put off long enough. Use it to spur your creativity and get it made!
- Go on a picnic. Pretend you’re in Paris and bring French foods such as baguettes, cheese and wine. Try new foods – maybe that fancy sausage from that cute gourmet store you hadn’t bought anything from yet. Create a scavenger hunt, or make a city park Bingo game (yellow dog, open bathroom, overly-friendly squirrel…). Bring bubbles (soap bubbles) to blow and bring chalk to draw a hopscotch game (or just to make funny faces on the sidewalk).
- Find a good patch of earth, take your shoes off and get grounded. This is called “earthing.” Look it up, the science is pretty cool – supplies antioxidants and free radicals and stuff. Basically, it makes you feel good and helps your health. Even so, you’ll feel like a kid again being free to run and play in the grass.
- Grow a plant. I like plants that can be eaten (veggies and herbs). But whatever makes you feel happy. If you don’t have a place outside to plant (backyard, rooftop or a community garden), make a green space indoors. Go to one of those paint-your-own-pottery and make a special pot for your plant. Or buy one of those grow-as-they-grow plant light contraptions. Share your new love – maybe even make an instagram account for it. One woman this weekend brought her moss plant with her…along with a sign so you know to follow it!
- Look at weeds differently. No, not the kind you smoke. Like a dandelion. Instead of despair that they are a nuisance, wonder what benefits they offer. Dandelion greens are a culinary treat. Their flowers are the early foods for bees (which do the world more service than just stinging!) Violets make great additions to your salad.
- Try my swing set meditation. Basically, find a swing set in a public playground (and if you do it when kids aren’t around, you may feel less guilty or “judged”) and get into a steady swing. The rhythmic back and forth along with focus on the physical movement to keep up the momentum can totally change all the racing thoughts in your head.
- Dye your hair to match Spring colors (most of the vivid colors aren’t permanent, and even doing a small bit of hair in a hidden spot can feel wonderfully daring).
- Buy index cards or little note cards. Write inspirational messages on them. Hide them all around your local Target, Walmart, Costco or wherever you think it will surprise people…and make their day a little sunnier.
- Join one of the many walk/run marathons and explore the areas where they go through. Purposefully make friends with others in the event. Intentionally stop and look at your surroundings with fresh eyes. Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll get a tutu just for participating! (I’m hoping for that, if I can coordinate my schedule so I may participate in an Ovarian Cancer awareness 5k)
- Sign up for a camping trip. I found one called a “Not Quite Summer Camp” that’s for adults in May. Beginners and more experienced campers welcome. There are even ones that offer options near wineries, if you want. Or – gather one or a bunch of friends and find an Airbnb in a fun spot for the weekend, and create your own activities, laughter and late night conversations.
Are you ready to take time to play this Spring?
There are so many things that you can do. Start with memories of what you thought was fun as a kid. Bring that attitude to whatever you’re doing. This Spring weather will make it just that much easier to want to get out of your rut and enjoy whatever adventure you choose. You deserve to play, and have fun in your life! Still stuck? Leave a comment below and we can create ideas together.