Often as adults we are told to ‘grow up’, ‘get real’ and ‘face reality’. Remember those incredible worlds you explored as a child. The amazing characters and storylines you enjoyed, all created effortlessly by your imagination.
Did you care what people thought?
You were far too busy enjoying your playtime to even think about what anyone thought of you. When we grow into teenagers we quite abruptly get hit with a world of truths. We become extremely self-aware and self-conscious.
The world of imaginative play is no longer so free. Our imagination gets taken over with thoughts of self. There’s a lot to be said for appreciating a free child-like state of mind.
It is not beneficial to become more ‘childish’, but it could be beneficial to become more ‘child-like’
Relaxing baths, computer games, and music are all examples of tools for escapism. But sometimes we forget how to use the simplest tools for escapism – Imagination. One of the main reasons children love playing outside is because it stimulates the imagination and most importantly it is completely free from technology.
As adults we sit watching the TV letting the programmes put our mind on autopilot. We also get bogged down with day to day life without really connecting with ourselves and actually living.
Reconnect with the child inside:
This is not to say you should ignore your responsibilities but kids don’t sweat the small stuff and neither should you. Fine you need to do the washing but do you need to do it right now? Could you dance around the kitchen to your favourite song for five minutes? Try it, I bet you’ll feel great after.
Stop being so judgemental of yourself!
Kids don’t stop and think about how they are coming across. Sure you should probably maintain self awareness when you need to, but sometimes its OK to look silly. So someone saw you giggling to yourself over something you just read. Look at it like this: will they or you remember the incident in a years time?
We spend so much time analysing and thinking about events that have passed that we cannot change. Kids do not do this. If something has bothered them they may cry but five minutes later they are laughing and playing again. We can learn a lot from this. Try practising moving on from negative thoughts. If you hear yourself saying something negative try instantly replacing the thought with something positive like a massive smiley face in your head. It sounds crazy but you’ll be surprised how it can work to move you away from negativity.
Most importantly allow yourself to daydream and fantasise
Living for the now means going with the flow and enjoying every moment. If you find yourself having a bit of a daydream while cleaning the dishes let it happen! Remember that’s your daydream no one elses so you have every right to enjoy it. Sometimes just sitting outside and watching the birds can lead to everyday life just melting away around us because we stop thinking so hard and let our imagination just take over. Next time you have a spare five minutes go and lie down in your garden, watch the clouds and think about what each cloud looks like. An elephant? A tree? A person?
Try Joining In
So next time your little boy outside playing Tarzan on the climbing frame, or little girl is playing the princess at the top of the tower on the slide – Why not try joining in? Not only will your child love the fact you are playing with them but it’ll give you a fresh burst of life too.
You can see a great range of garden climbing frames and garden playhouses at https://www.selwood.com/