Find us on Google+

Play Therapy for Grown Ups

“Mom push me!” my daughter begged me and looked at me with playful eyes.  I reluctantly sidled over to help her out because I know she doesn’t really need me to push her anymore.  I gave her a few good shoves to propel her up to a satisfactory height.  Observing her delight, I thought, “Why let her have all the fun?” and glanced over at the empty swing next to her.  

Assessing how many people were around who might think it was weird for a grown up to swing I looked around warily.  After considering it safe, I positioned myself into swinging form on the blue strip, and grasped the chains.  I started swaying it into motion with my legs with familiarity from my childhood memories.  Soon I was up to full speed.

I’m not sure if it was the wind on my face, or seeing the clouds from a new angle, that put that huge grin on my face.  I was having fun!  My daughter laughed seeing me on the swing next to her and together we were enjoying our up and down ride on a warm fall evening.  

After not much time, my daughter moved onto the slide and I just kept swinging.  Flashbacks of jumping off the swings in elementary school came through my mind. We used to compete for who could jump the farthest and the highest.  I remembered when life was simpler.  

Though I toyed with the idea, I opted NOT to see how far I could jump (good to know my reasoning skills were still intact).  Feeling lighter and more jubilant, I got off the swing and went back to my post with the other parents watching their kids play on the playground.  

It seems that adult life is so chocked full of responsibilities and hard work.  Sometimes it’s hard to relax because of the To Do list reminders that need to get done.  I felt so much lighter and more optimistic after my short stint on the swing.  Possibly, we all need to do fun stuff more often.  My kids long to be all grown up and I remind them, “Enjoy being a kid while you can.”  

Sometimes it’s important to do something, silly, fun or spontaneous just to get back in touch with your inner playful child.   It doesn’t have to be complicated.  Keep it simple.  It can be refreshing and put a smile on your face.  Did you know that smiling increases your “feel good” brain chemicals (endorphins and serotonin) in your brain?  Go ahead do something out of the ordinary and playful.  You might find yourself smiling.  

by Gretchen Flores