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Last week, I was hanging by the pool with my wife and 26 year old daughter when my daughter suggested we have a doggy paddle “competition.” I was reading a book at the time so wasn’t particularly interested. They weren’t going to let me bring them down so they jumped in and started paddling. After a little bit more coaxing, I joined in the fun. It brought me back to swimming at my grandma’s when I was 10…doing stupid shit…just playing.

Play is one of MenLiving’s grounding forces. We say on the website that play is remembering and re-cultivating our youthful joyfulness. In our hectic, modern lives, many of us focus so heavily on work and family commitments that we never seem to have time for pure fun. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we stopped playing. When we carve out some leisure time, we’re more likely to zone out in front of the TV or computer than engage in fun, rejuvenating play like we did as kids. 

Does that feel right?? There doesn’t need to be any point to the activity beyond having fun and enjoying ourselves. By giving ourselves permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, we can reap huge health benefits throughout life. It is important to note that for greater benefits, play should involve at least one other person! 

Studies show that through regular play, we learn to trust one another and feel safe. Trust enables us to work together, open ourselves to intimacy, and try new things. By making a conscious effort to incorporate more humor and play into your daily interactions, we can improve the quality of your love relationships—as well as our connections with co-workers, family members, and friends.

As adults we might worry that being playful will get us labeled as not serious or childish. But what is so wrong with that? It’s possible we were our most curious and creative when we were kids. Wouldn’t you want to be childish if that is the definition? Remember that as a child, you were naturally playful; you didn’t worry about the reactions of other people. 

Reclaim your inner child! Find some time to play!

Now, while play is one of our grounding forces, we haven’t always been good about incorporating it in our MenLiving activities. As we continue to evolve and grow, our intention is do more goofy, fun shit. 

And that starts Saturday with the “no experience necessary” pickleball tourney (yes, another plug for pickleball). Come join us! Sign up here

Also, tell us what you do for play and/or what play we should consider incorporating in MenLiving activities in the comments below. 

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