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Living Playfully At Any Age

living playfully

Midlife Reinvention Thought Leader: Yvonne Marchese

Recently, I’ve found myself diving deep into the notion of living playfully.

Living Playfully At Any Age:

I think most people know that play is important for children, but then we switch over to productivity mode as we get older and find ourselves overloaded with responsibility. 

As we age, we simply forget to play. At least, I know I do. I find myself grinding to get things done, so I can pat myself on the back at the end of the day and tell myself how productive I’ve been.  

Society tells us it’s self indulgent and that we should be working hard. Hustle culture has done a real disservice to us all. It’s a health issue. There’s some recent evidence that shows that we can all benefit from playing more. A recent study by René Proyer found that “…playfulness facilitates the experience of positive emotions in all age groups and that greater levels of playfulness are associated with greater well-being across the life-span.”

“There’s some recent evidence that shows that we can all benefit from playing more.”

For the month of February, I’ve been doing a personal challenge called “Living Playfully at ANY Age”. 

This challenge isn’t so much about doing playful things as it’s about finding a sense of play as often as I can. What might happen if we incorporate more playfulness into our days even when we are working and being productive? It’s this fantastic shift in mindset where “I have to do this” transforms into “I get to do this.” And let me tell you, it’s a complete game-changer.

I’ve been learning a lot about myself through this challenge. I’m still being productive, but I’m learning to take more breaks and look at my work with more of a sense of ease.  

Embracing Playfulness:

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of embracing playfulness. It’s a mindset shift, and it’s all about catching yourself when you’re grinding to get work done or saying negative things to yourself. Noticing is the first step towards change. It gives you the opportunity to interrupt your old patterns.

By shifting our mindset and making small changes, we invite more joy into our lives. It’s all about approaching life with kindness to yourself, and you’ll be amazed at the difference it can make.

Practical Tips:

You’re probably thinking, “This all sounds fantastic, but how do I actually do it?” Well, here are some practical tips to help you infuse playfulness into your daily life:

  • Start your day with a smile. Even if you don’t feel like it, smiling can set a positive tone for your day. A good time to do this is after you brush your teeth. Take a few seconds to look at yourself in the mirror and smile. 
  • Step away from your screens and go for a walk. Enjoy the outdoors, and take a break from the digital world.
  • If you’ve been sitting at your desk for awhile, and you start to feel grumpy, annoyed, anxious or sleepy, get up and move your body for 5 – 10 minutes. Try stretching or your favorite yoga poses, and make it playful. Explore where you feel tension and let your body guide you. 
  • Put on your favorite song and have a dance break. It’s an excellent way to inject some fun into your day.

“It’s about both giving and receiving those positive vibes.”

  • Meditate or just breathe deeply. Even if it’s just for a minute, this practice can help you stay centered and calm.
  • Take a 15-20 minute cat nap. You don’t have to sleep, just put on some relaxing music or white noise and lie down. (Set a timer just in case you do fall asleep. I’ve found that long naps leave me feeling groggy afterwards.) This is like shutting down and restarting your computer.
  • Spending time with people who uplift you is a must. Surround yourself with those who make you feel like a million bucks when you walk into a room. It’s about both giving and receiving those positive vibes.
  • When you have a hard task in front of you that you’re dreading, ask yourself, “What if this could be easy?” or “What can I do to make this easier?”.
  • Spending time with people who uplift you is a must. Surround yourself with those who make you feel like a million bucks when you walk into a room. It’s about both giving and receiving those positive vibes.
  • Make a list of activities that make you feel energized, happy or peaceful. Some of the things on your list might require time and money, but be sure to include simple activities that are free and fast. Keep your list handy so you can refer to it when you are tense, anxious or overwhelmed.  
  • Put things on your calendar that give you a sense of excited anticipation. These might include activities from your list that require more time and/or money.

Want to see how Yvonne’s been embracing playfully, follow her on Instagram – link in bio below.

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Yvonne Marchese

About the Author:

Yvonne Marchese is the host of the Late Bloomer Living Podcast, a professional photographer, mother and wife. At the age of 48, she realized that she’d bought into a story about getting old that was adversely affecting her health and relationships.Changing her story about aging inspired her to start the Late Bloomer Living Podcast where she is on a mission to redefine society’s ideas on aging and exploring how to live a life by design. Yvonne believes that midlife is filled with possibility, that it’s never too late to pursue a dream and that the stories we tell ourselves have tremendous power. Who knew that midlife could be so much fun? Follow Yvonne on IG –@latebloomerliving