Play is not only important for children, it’s crucial for adults. Dr. Stuart Brown from the National Institute of Play says, “Stepping out of a normal routine, finding novelty, being open to serendipity, enjoying the unexpected, embracing a little risk, and finding pleasure in the heightened vividness of life. These are all qualities of a state of play.” Play fosters innovation and joy in adults. It’s more than fun and games, it is a critical part of balancing our stressful lives.

5 ways to incorporate play in our daily lives:

1. Create a playful work area

Even if you look at spreadsheets all day you can incorporate a playful work area. Design your workspace to trigger moments of joy by bringing in some of your favorite games, toys, colorful objects, flowers, creative posters, or anything that can create a fun and playful environment. When we surround ourselves with playful elements, we create a playful mindset that encourages creativity even in mundane everyday jobs.

2. Listen to music

“I know why the caged bird sings.” – Maya Angelou

Listening to upbeat music is not only fun and playful, it is an immediate mood-booster. Numerous studies have shown the positive benefits of music on our mental health. Music releases endorphins in the brain that create a euphoric feeling and ease stress and anxiety.

Pop in your headphones and let the endorphins flow with Spotify’s “Upbeat Clean Music for Work” playlist.

3. Host a game night

Playing board games with friends is a great way to stay social and bond. Even in times of social distancing people are finding ways to create virtual game nights. Play virtual Pictionary, Bingo, or even use a service like Jackbox Party Games or Let’s Roam. Bonding with people through playful activities and games is now more important than ever!

4. Play with children

Children are experts at play! When you play with your child, grandchild, niece, or nephew, not only are you building long-lasting connections with them, you are creating the joy that is a fundamental part of being human.

Read more information on playing together as a family at

5. Smile

Turn that frown upside down! Smiling can be hard to do, especially after a long day, but the simple act of smiling can transform the world around you. Not only can it put you in a joyful state, but it’s contagious. According to Psychology Today, each time you smile at a person, their brain coaxes them to return the favor. You are creating a symbiotic relationship that allows both of you to release feel-good chemicals in your brain, activate reward centers, make you both more attractive, and increase the chances of you both living longer healthier lives.

To Hear more about the benefits of play, check Creating Playful Worlds, Episode 1 – The Importance of Play