Let YOUrself play


Let's all embracing our inner child, no one can perhaps doubt the importance of play and creativity. In the hustle and bustle of adulthood, it's easy to forget the simple joys of play and creativity that once filled our childhood days. Yet, research in psychology consistently highlights the profound benefits of embracing our inner child, tapping into our playful spirit, and nurturing our creativity. In this article, we delve into the psychological importance of play and creativity, exploring how these elements contribute to overall well-being and personal growth. Just like a little reminder to be aware of our part that longs for being free, playing for the sake of playing, exploring just so we find out something new, without criticism and judgement. 

Play is often considered the language of childhood, but its importance extends far beyond the playground. Play serves as a fundamental aspect of psychological development, fostering cognitive, emotional, social, and physical growth. Through play, children learn vital skills such as problem-solving, decision-making, empathy, and self-regulation. Moreover, play provides a safe space for exploration, experimentation, and self-expression, allowing children to make sense of their experiences and navigate the complexities of the world around them. I see that play is very much deeply rooted in Finnish society and both kids and adults play on the playgrounds outdoors and indoors. It is such a great thing to witness the freedom of adults when they really play like their kids. 

However, play is not confined to childhood; it remains an essential aspect of human experience across the lifespan. Engaging in playful activities in adulthood can promote stress reduction, enhance creativity, strengthen social connections, and foster a sense of joy and vitality. Whether it's through sports, games, hobbies, or imaginative pursuits, incorporating play into our daily lives can rekindle our sense of wonder and curiosity, leading to greater resilience and life satisfaction.

Creativity is the essence of human ingenuity, encompassing the ability to generate novel ideas, solve problems, and express oneself in unique ways. Like play, creativity flourishes in an environment of freedom, curiosity, and exploration. When we engage in creative endeavors, whether it's painting, writing, music, or dance, we tap into a reservoir of imagination and innovation that transcends conventional thinking.

Research suggests that fostering creativity is not only beneficial for artistic pursuits but also for cognitive flexibility, emotional well-being, and adaptive problem-solving. Creative individuals are often more resilient in the face of challenges, as they possess the ability to reframe obstacles as opportunities for growth and transformation. Moreover, creativity has been linked to enhanced mental health outcomes, including reduced anxiety, depression, and stress. I myself love art and to be honest, since my kids were born, I have tried to provide them with environment (at home and in schools/clubs) where they could freely dive into being creative, being like artists and musicians. Simply put, when they were infants, they had the chance to paint with foods and have a baby colour bath (a method quite popular in Finland), exploring and being creative age appropriately. Sometimes it can be so simple as jumping in puddles or painting snow. 

Incorporating elements of play and creativity into our adult lives requires a willingness to reconnect with our inner child—the part of ourselves that is curious, spontaneous, and uninhibited. This involves letting go of self-imposed limitations, embracing a spirit of playfulness, and giving ourselves permission to explore new possibilities without judgment or fear of failure.

Practical Strategies for Cultivating Play and Creativity:

  • Set aside dedicated time for play: Schedule regular periods in your day or week to engage in activities that bring you joy and stimulate your imagination.
  • Experiment with new hobbies: Explore activities outside your comfort zone, whether it's learning a musical instrument, taking up a craft, or trying a new sport.
  • Practice mindfulness: Cultivate present-moment awareness and openness to experience, allowing yourself to fully engage in the joy of the moment.
  • Surround yourself with playful environments: Seek out spaces that inspire creativity and play, whether it's a vibrant art studio, a lush natural setting, or a bustling community center.

In a world filled with responsibilities and obligations, it's easy to lose sight of the importance of play and creativity in our lives. Yet, these elements serve as essential ingredients for personal growth, well-being, and resilience. By embracing our inner child, nurturing our playful spirit, and tapping into our creative potential, we can cultivate a deeper sense of fulfillment, joy, and connection in our lives. So, let go of inhibitions, unleash your imagination, and embark on a journey of self-discovery through the transformative power of play and creativity.