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When was the last time you played?

Updated: Sep 4, 2022

“The daily routine of most adults is so heavy and artificial that we are closed off to much of the world. We have to do this in order to get our work done.”

Author Ursula K. Le Guin

Adults need play, too.

But we usually don’t even acknowledge this basic fact. And that’s not a criticism—it just seems to be a fact of adult life in North America that most people don’t factor play into their normal routines. Catherine Tamis-LeMonda, Professor of Development Psychology at New York University, says play is being joyfully immersed in the moment, and as adults, we rarely do that” (NBC News).

When Does Play Stop?

Ask yourself: when was the last time I was joyfully immersed in the moment? In a moment of play?

If you think back to your childhood, chances are you could easily name dozens of games you used to play, from the household favourites almost everyone played at school or camp, to the made-up games only you and your siblings or childhood friends know. (I distinctly remember my brothers and I playing a game called “Eep Bugs” when we were younger. The rules? Get on all fours like a bug, and don’t say anything except “eep”).

Lucky for you, no one is suggesting you play Eep Bugs. But there are literally limitless ways that you can bring a little bit more play back into your life.

What Are The Benefits of Play?

First of all, allowing yourself time to do something simply for the joy it will bring you is probably one of the most freeing and joyful experiences you can give to yourself. But beyond the obvious answer that playing is simply fun, no matter how old you are, there are lots of extra, science-backed reasons to play.


  • It keeps you mentally sharp (improves memory, and stimulates the growth of your cerebral cortex)

  • Releases endorphins (chemicals/hormones that help relieve pain, reduce stress and improve your sense of well-being)

  • Improves brain functionality. In fact, as you age, continuing to play lowers your risk of developing certain age-related diseases (for example, dementia)

  • Helps ward of depression and anxiety

  • Helps to facilitate happiness

Read More About The Benefits of Play

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