Written by Kaelin Cooley
When you’re a child, play is what centers our learning. We learn to share, we learn shapes, colors, numbers and how our own hands and feet work by playing. As we grow older, we slowly start to lean away from this play mindset and focus on the work and our future, not so much our enjoyment right now. Although setting ourselves up for success is important, tomorrow is never promised so learning to enjoy yourself, at least a few times a day, keeps your days lighter and your mindset free. We are more likely to be more productive, effective and efficient if we are enjoying what we are doing. Even if you are not enjoying that specific task, maintaining a positive energy can change the entire outlook on the task.
Being in school, especially during COVID times, it can be hard to plan a fun activity for yourself. Even now, I am in grad school and should be better about balancing school and social life, it can be extremely hard and exhausting. Over the time I have realized that yes, school always comes first, but you cannot be successful in school without taking care of your authentic self first. Whether your fun activity is taking a walk, reading a book, writing a poem, or boxing, doing something specifically for your own enjoyment can enrich your motivation and energy when it comes to digging deep into your studies or work. Personally, I know that if I go workout in the morning, which I enjoy, I have a better attitude the rest of the day, I have more energy and just feel overall, refreshed. I enjoy school and work more because my mind is not in stress survival mode like it often is with school and work.
Just because we grow up with age, does not mean our outlook on life should change. Life is here for us to have fun, explore and make our own. Although as we grow older, we have more responsibilities to take care of, we also owe ourselves the responsibility of enjoying the time we have, in between the young adult responsibilities. Increasing the amount of fun activities I implement into my daily routine helps my mental health, it gives space for my brain to relax, take a step back and remember, we all still deserve to be kids at heart.