Updated: Jun 12
Did you know that Play is an essential activity?
In his book, Essentialism, Greg McKeown states that Stewart Brown concluded, "that play has the power to significantly improve everything. From personal health, to relationship, to education, to organization, to the ability to create. Nothing fire ups the brain like play"
This information came in handy for me while faced with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I work as a mailman. Everyday I'm out in the public trying my best to practice social distance. Being considered essential, I'm out on the frontlines making myself susceptible to being infected.
For weeks, I went to work with this in the back of my mind. One day, after finishing my shift, a coworker walked up to me and showed me her cellphone where I read the following "someone tested positive here at the station". I instantly knew that I wouldn't be coming back to work for a while. Just the thought that I came in contact with someone that was positive was overwhelming.
Earlier in the week, a close friend of my family died from the coronavirus. I could not bear the thought of infecting my household.
So what did I do on my first day off? I spent making calls, brainstorming about how NOT to burn my leave, and still get a paycheck. The situation and thought process became extremely stressful. It was exhausting! So exhausting that I got in the bed around 2pm and spent the remainder of the day there. To do this again…to think about the lack of… to ponder on the what-if’s… to problem solve uncertainty?? Nope. Decision made.
I woke up the next day knowing I couldn't repeat the previous day's thought process.
I got up early and went over my ladies house. Why my ladies’ house? This is where I spent the whole day playing with her son. We played the board game, Trouble. We wrote poems together. We played Sonic on his Nintendo Switch. We climbed into his secret fort and hung out. I played! I decided to let the worries of the world go and I had fun!
What did play do? The mixture of inviting my younger self to play with this vibrant young soul, shifted my perspective and ignited creativity – this blog was birthed from this space.
My conclusion: There were decisions that still needed to be made, but they waited until after I played.
Fun Facts: Helpingguide.org tells us that the benefits of play relieves stress, improves brain function, stimulates the mind and boost creativity, improves relationships and your connection to others, keeps you feeling young and energetic, develops and improves social skills, play teaches cooperation with others, and heals emotional wounds.
Have you negated the “youth” in you and decided that “play” can take a back seat, esp in unprecedented, stressful, uncertain times? What is your current relationship with Play.
Let us hear your voice, our community wants to hear from you!
Written by: Q. Edmonds