The Importance Of Play
At BC + PT we strive to provide health and wellness education to everyone in our Buffalo community. When they think of wellness many people will bring up topics like health, family, purpose or connection- but one thing that isn’t mentioned is playtime! We often think that as adults, playtime is over, and there’s no need to spark more joy in our lives. But from a wellness perspective play has many benefits that can enhance your health and wellness overall.
What is play?
When we think of play, we often think of children enjoying activities like finger painting and playing house. But play in its simplest form can be defined as the engagement of an activity for the purpose of enjoyment- no professional development, no trying to be a better parent or spouse. Just. Being.
Play can be categorized as many different things, and there are in fact many types of play. The four main types of play are ritual, imaginative, physical, and object play.
Ritual Play includes things such as your sports games, board games, and any other games that have a set of rules and structure. Ritual play included working together to achieve a common goal. Ritual play benefits mostly team building, decision making, boosting social skills, and in the case of sports, exercise!
Sitting at home and thinking about what you want out of life, and daydreaming are not a waste of time at all! These are actually activities categorized as Imaginative Play. Imaginative play is all about coloring, crafting, acting, dreaming, and storytelling. Fostering imagination and creativity is what imaginative play is all about! This type of play is very beneficial for thinking outside the box and problem solving, and can even help you work out your problems as well.
Physical Play is all about the physicality of the body… using your body to move, run, jump, surf, hike, and anything else that gets you to move your body, without that ritual aspect of achieving a common goal. Physical play is beneficial to your body and keeps you healthy and active while having fun!
Lastly, Object Play is a very kinesthetic type of play. When you build with Jenga, legos, go to Lasertron or build a fort with your kids, that is all object play. When we use or manipulate the world around us, designing and crafting, we are using play as a way to open up our problem-solving, creative thinking juices.
Ways To Play
Hopefully just those definitions have given you a chance to spark an idea as to what kind of play you’d like to engage in. By adding play in our lives, we are able to boost our endorphins, laugh more, and keep our bodies healthy. It seems like a no-brainer to add more ways to play to your day! Try to take little breaks throughout your day to color, journal, take a walk or get a friend to play a board game with you!
Even though many people still think that play is for young kids, it's been proven that kids do focus more when given the opportunity for frequent and brief free play time. There is no reason to not think that it would be just as helpful to all of our adult, serious selves. Adding laughter and a little extra joy should always be something that we strive for more of in our lives. Even animals use play time as a way to help them develop the skills they will need when they are older, so why wouldn’t you want to keep developing those skills as an adult?
Having fun and playing is actually a really important part of the wellness journey, and by giving ourselves and our bodies time to play and release endorphins can help temporarily relieve pain. As a conservative care provider we are always interested in and invested in your holistic wellness. Give us a call today or fill out our contact form to schedule your first appointment!