All of us have this perception that play is for kids but what we don’t know is that it can be a great source of relaxation as well. Creative play leads to a more mature adulthood and healthy masculinity. Play is not trivial; it’s basic and as important as sleep or food for our health. Games and sports have for a long time been the foundation of civilizations and hence we can rightly say that play is a part of our lineage. Today our society tends to dismiss play as we grow from boys to men. The notion is that playing is unproductive and so we "Grow up" it’s time to be serious. Moreover, with our jobs and family, there’s no time to play. We all play as kids but as we grow up, we miss out on the essence of boyhood. Men need to play and they need to be boys again for so many reasons.
Nowadays health has become a major issue. We spend most of our time behind our computer screens and when we get back home after a long day at work we hardly have any energy left. Then there are our bad eating habits. Given the option between a salad and a burger our very obvious choice is a burger- a high calorie, no nutritional value. If we include a little play in our daily routine it will not only break the monotony but also help us stay fit. I personally like to play ultimate frisbee!
Office is our second home. We spend more many hours laboring over an unlimited amount of tasks. Our productivity and success does not only depend on the time we devote to our employment, both our productivity and quality of work depend on how much fun we have at work and on the workplace environment. If we give ourselves a mental break to have fun our professional life will benefit. Companies that encourage play and creativity at work like yoga or provide games like ping-pong and foosball have employees who produce more. Play helps to let off steam and break off the monotony. Take time to replenish yourself through play and I would be sure it would boost your productivity and lead to more success in your career.
Learn important life lessons
Being a part of any sport or game helps you experience firsthand how a team works in unison toward one common goal and achieves success. You learn that victory is the result of the combined efforts of talented individuals working together with a common vision. Sports and games impart a sense of discipline and fellow-feeling. We learn the value of time. It instills the spirit of co-laboring and hard work. It helps us to become sportive, daring and adventurous capable to deal with all the challenges life has in store for us. We need to stay in touch with the player inside us to tackle the real world. Playing will help you constantly develop and refine these life skills, helping you to forge ahead. Plus its healthy for men to have confrontation and learn to verbally work through it with ones teammates or competitors.
Improve social skills
Play is an effective tool to keep everything from relationships to work fresh and exciting. It brings joy, resilience and vitality to relationships. Play helps us trust one another and feel safe. Playing helps develop and improve social skills during the give and take of play. As you continue to refine the skills of cooperation and teamwork learnt as kids through play you will continue to improve your social skills. Play acts as a powerful catalyst for socialization. It will help you create a positive bond, resolve conflicts and disagreements leading to improved relations with co-workers, family and friends. The bottom line is if you are interacting with humans and are actually engaged you are bound to learn something.
Adults need recess too!
Remember how in school after a long morning of studying we used to get recess. Well, there’s a reason behind this. Play is just as important as hard work. I remember as a kid building bridges over ravines and digging holes to the other side of the world. Even thought I wasn't getting paid for such strenuous manual labor I didn't even realize because I was having so much fun. After hours of hard work play can help shake the brain out of stagnancy and allows us to relax. As we grow up we stop giving ourselves a much needed recess. We can get so caught up meeting deadlines and finishing assignments, that we rarely have time to rest our brain. Taking some time out of your day to replenish through play is one of the best things anyone can do!
Play unlocks laughter and helps
Playing is fun, it unlocks laughter. Mens sense of humor is allowed some space through play which is nowadays filled into heady witticisms or media entertainment most of the time. Men are funny together not only does laughing make life better it is an amazing tool that helps deepen friendships. Engagement in sports influences our sense of fun. Sharing laughter helps foster empathy, trust and compassion with others. It can help break the ice with strangers and make new friends. It also helps maintain social well-being. Board games, soccer leagues, playing paintball, after-work recreation is how men connect.
Playing releases endorphins. It is the body’s natural feel good chemicals which promotes an overall sense of well-being. The social interaction with friends and family while playing helps to ward off stress and depression. We are likely to learn a new task better when we are in a fun and playful mood just like kids who learn best when they are playing. Playing relaxes and stimulates the mind. It boosts creativity and efficiency as you adapt and solve problems, it also boosts the energy levels and vitality; it even improves the resistance to diseases and helps you feel good from inside.
In ending I think it is so improtant for men to not stop playing as kids but to develope how you play similar to learning how to own up to responisbility. I think a life without being free and secure enough to play as men is not a world I want to be apart of. Here is a quote that we will end with.
George Bernard Shaw, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
So keep playing to stay young and healthy!