How often do you take a break from working? It’s easy to get overwhelmed with responsibilities as an adult. That can lead to emotions like stress that make you feel unhappy. Fortunately, you can change your tune by incorporating more play into your daily routine.

Take a look at seven ways to experience joy in your life.

1. Have a Board Game Night

A board game night can help you relax and unwind. It’s a wonderful way to let loose and have fun, too. This time with your friends will take you back to your youth. There are endless versions of board games to play — whether you want to return to a classic like Monopoly or try a new concept like One-Night Ultimate Werewolf, you’ll have a blast.

You can also explore board games with your kids. There’s no shame in enjoying a competitive Chutes and Ladders match. The inevitable laughter and jokes that come from your family game night will be something you want to recreate every week.

2. Take up a Sport

As a child, you likely played one or two sports. But did you continue participating past high school? It might help to revisit that sport now that you’re an adult. You can explore new physical activities, too. From soccer to swimming, you get the best of both worlds when you enjoy how you exercise.

Be sure to keep up with your sport in different ways. If you’ve been shooting hoops alone, you should try joining a recreational league where you can play pickup games. These activities will help you remember to have fun.

3. Start Painting and Doodling

It can be challenging to set aside time to let your creative juices flow, but you should try to express yourself as often as possible. This effort allows you to be more productive and stress-free when working. You can also use creative activities to bond with your kids.

Try painting and doodling to add more creativity to your life. These can be freeform drawings, but you could try to create landscapes and portraits, too. In any case, make room in your schedule for these activities.

4. Try a Spontaneous Adventure

When did you last do something spontaneous? Putting more adventure into your life will help you feel more relaxed, free and happy. It’s possible to be overly impulsive, but you don’t want to be so rigid that you never experience anything you haven’t planned down to the last tiny detail. Balance is critical.

These experiences don’t have to be anything major. If you’re not an adventurous person by nature, you can always start small. Try stopping at a new coffee shop before work. You can then build up to last-minute weekend trips.

5. Join Local Organizations

As a kid, being part of a play group can help you make friends. But when you’re an adult, it’s not always easy to meet like-minded people. Joining a local organization surrounding your interests is a great way to “play” as you get older.

Look online to see what your city has to offer. For example, you could try participating in a standup comedy group to expand your skills and meet potential friends. These adult extracurriculars can be excellent for decompressing in your free time.

6. Do an Art Project

If you’re not interested in painting or doodling, explore crafting projects to bring out your creative side. Sitting down to make a photo album can help you feel like you’re back in art class. It’s also an excellent opportunity to explore new things. What about making homemade soap?

Pursuing a DIY project is beneficial for bonding, too. Ask what your children want to make, so you can try something new as a family. These activities are a fun way to spend your weekends when you don’t have anything scheduled.

7. Read a Book

If you’re not a massive fan of books, you probably only read when necessary in school. Reading is essential for physical and mental health, so it’s smart to think about finding novels or nonfiction you enjoy. Discovering a new genre of books can help refresh your current reading routine, too.

Try looking into categories like fantasy, sci-fi, biography and mystery to explore different perspectives while reading. You may be surprised to find out you lose many pleasant hours reading when you enjoy the subject matter. As a result, you’ll feel like a little kid again when you can’t seem to put the book down.

Make Time for Play Even as an Adult

It might seem silly at first, but making time for play as an adult can help you become a brand-new person. Activities like making arts and crafts can genuinely allow you to relax and rejuvenate, so you don’t overwork yourself. Try doing things that make you feel like a kid again!

Jennifer Landis is a mom, wife, freelance writer, and blogger at Mindfulness Mama. She enjoys yoga day, red wine, and drinking all of the tea she can find. Follow her on Twitter @JenniferELandis.





Image courtesy of David Bartus.