May 31, 2022 Healthy Living

9 ways to reduce stress with grown-up playtime

Great news! It turns out that you’re never too old to add playtime to your day. And guess what? It’s actually good for you!

Play spans a wide range of activities and can be classified as pretty much anything that’s done for enjoyment. From a pick-up game of basketball to snuggling a puppy to attending a festival with friends – it’s all playtime! The benefits of being amused, according to experts, include decreased stress and increased relaxation.

The trick is to fit playtime into your busy, priority-filled, grown-up day. Check out these tips for ways to fit in some fun without dodging your responsibilities.

  • Make work breaks playdates. Instead of making your grocery shopping list, paying bills, or doing other adult-like tasks on your work breaks, go outside and kick a football or play a quick card game with a coworker.
  • Play with a pet after work. Wouldn’t your pup love to play fetch? Or maybe your cat would be thrilled to attack that new string toy you picked up? Your furry friends can benefit, too!

  • Take a long, leisurely weekend bike ride. Bring back those carefree days of childhood when cruising around the neighborhood on your bike brought with it wind in your face and complete freedom.
  • Join a team. Do you enjoy playing group sports like softball, soccer, or volleyball? There are plenty of adult leagues throughout the Capital District that can provide you with the chance to play. There’s even an organization that offers kickball and dodgeball to take you back to your middle school gym class days!
  • Gather the family for a game night. Take the dining room table to a new level with your favorite board games and enjoy some uninterrupted downtime with your loved ones.
  • Try an escape room. Gather up a few friends to solve puzzles and play games as you face challenges and immerse yourselves in an interactive adventure.
  • Make your partner your partner in crime. Dance around the living room like maniacs. Quote your favorite funny movies and laugh until your sides hurt. Remember hilarious stories about crazy events you’ve experienced together.
  • Bring back an activity that you loved as a kid. Were you obsessed with coloring? Buy a package of delightfully fresh new markers and an adult coloring book to awaken your inner artist. Enjoyed playing music? Dust off that old instrument and see what you remember.
  • Recruit a play professional. Grab your kids, grandkids, nephews, nieces. Jump into their imagination and act out an epic battle between a knight and dragon. Bring to life their favorite tea party dreams. The possibilities are endless!

Still feeling overly stressed and like you could use more help?

High levels of stress can often cause a larger negative effect on your mental health. If you’ve been stressed more than usual and feel like you may benefit from mental health support, CDPHP has resources to help with your mental health needs.

You can also give us a call at 1-888-320-9584 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday to talk to someone who can help. If you need assistance after hours, call the number above and press “1” to be connected with our 24/7 crisis line.

Sarah Bowman
About Author

Sarah Bowman joined CDPHP® in November 2020 as a communications specialist. A life-long lover of words, Sarah brings the team 20 years of editing and writing experience gained through her positions at a digital media company, public relations agency, and book publishing house. She attended The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY where she received her BA in Public Communications. Sarah currently resides in the Capital Region with her husband and son where she enjoys long family walks, Broadway shows, and finding the next great streaming series to binge.

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