Run, jump, skip, and play. Those words and movements were familiar to you as a child. However, now you don’t hear them as often. I think it’s because we have lost the sense of play. In our adult lives, thinking about playing outside just seems almost ridiculous, unless with little ones. You don’t have time for that after a long day of work and chores that still haven’t been finished. Bouncing a ball, removing the daily cares and swimming for fun just seems childish. That’s just it. Sometimes, we need to be “childish.” If we brought out our inner child now and again, we might just find exercise a little more fun, life a little bit more enjoyable, and stress that much less. Think about it. As a child you woke up when ready, ate when hungry, played as though burning calories didn’t exist (but naturally you burned a lot), and went to bed when tired. Naps weren’t out of the question, nor were expressing how you felt, when you felt it. This may not be something you incorporate every day (especially because your boss wouldn’t appreciate you showing up whenever you decided you had enough sleep), but it is something to include into your healthy lifestyle now and again. Here are five ways for you to get in touch with your inner child, and we believe he or she is still in there!
We forget that allowing ourselves to be creative is therapeutic and fun. Find time for creativity in your life. It helps to let go of stress, and release feelings in a more enjoyable way. Think back to your childhood and recall what you loved to do for fun. It could be painting, another form of an art project, sidewalk chalk, dancing carelessly, or putting together an arrangement of flowers. There is no one right way of doing this. Get in tune with what your younger self liked to do, and then go do it!
Being careless doesn’t mean you are irresponsible and unsafe. To me this means waking up on a Saturday morning, throwing on some clothes without any cares or thoughts, ordering something at the bakery that you would have ordered as a kiddo, and then indulging without any regrets. You may think it sounds odd that I’m telling you to go for it, but when we do, I often find my clients tend to not struggle with as many cravings and binge snacking. Oh yeah, spend one day just letting go of the daily chores and tasks. So what, your laundry pile got a little larger and that birthday card goes out one day later, it’s not going to hurt anything. So, let go and free your careless self (at least for the morning!).
MOVE LIKE NO ONE IS WATCHING
We recently spent a week on a beautiful lake in the heart of Michigan. We were surrounded by sparkling waters, sunshine and little judgement. To let go and have fun as if no one was watching (because they really weren’t) was so much fun. We would sing and dance into the late hours of the night, with the stars twinkling above us. Truly, it was the best ab workout I’ve had in a long time thanks to the non-stop laughing my cousin and I experienced. To not worry what the people think, to move freely while having fun, is a wonderful thing. Even if “they” are looking, try not caring, it feels great. You should try it.
HAVE FUN EXERCISING
If you’re having fun while moving your body, you may not dread working out as much. Try going outside, getting fresh air, and being active like your younger self would. Think back to when you would get fresh air in the great outdoors, riding your bike for hours around the neighborhood. You would be laughing and having fun, while staying active, without realizing it was good for you. Maybe it’s a bike ride or maybe it’s a fun day playing in the pool. Whatever it is, just have fun with it!
STOP ANALYZING EVERYTHING
What did that person say? I wonder if they think we are weird. Did we come across as too strong? Does that person like me? The constant questions and wondering that takes place in the human mind can be draining. Do yourself a favor. Stop caring and analyzing every comment and gesture someone makes at you. As children we didn’t spend countless hours of our lives wondering if the kid in our pre-school class thought we were cool enough. We were true blue to whom we were (wetting pants and all) and didn’t take it home with us. So, be you and let others think what they want today.
Although bringing out your inner child may not seem practical every day, you can at least be mindful, and choose maybe a couple of days out of the year to incorporate these suggestions. Trying just one of the suggestions while you unwind and distress during the weekend, may help you relax. You don’t have to wish you were a kid again! You can bring your younger self out to play every once in a while, and who knows, it may give you the best version of you yet!
Note: Photos did not com from www.JennaLento.com