Change of Pace

"Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold”

– Joseph Chilton Pearce

"It’s better to play than do nothing,”

– Confucious

Do you remember what it’s like to play with abandon like a 9 year-old child?

I ask you this question because as adults, we’re all in serious need of a major "play” overhaul. Let’s face it – we take life too seriously and forget that playing and having fun is just as important as working hard and being responsible.

You have probably heard that children laugh 400 times per day up to 4 years old, while adults laugh 15 or fewer times per day.

When this belief trickles down to the workplace, it is not beneficial to the company. One of the common reasons for low productivity in the workplace is due to a dull, non-motivating work atmosphere. Employees get frustrated and don’t work as hard.

This lack of play has also funneled down to children. Children don’t have as much playtime nowadays as they are engaged in numerous extra-curricular activities like organized sports that can be too structured to emulate spontaneous play. There’s often incredible pressure in after-school activities. Sadly, we’re becoming a "playless” society.

Play is critical to our happiness and stress level. We should have at least one activity that we do regularly just for fun. Hobbies provide a fun way to minimize stress, sharpen skills and demonstrate our creativity. When we get inspired by a fun activity, our brain slows down and goes into a semi-hypnotic state which makes us feel in the "flow”, where we lose track of time and feel relaxed. The most creative moments often happen during this time.

If we find a hobby we love and spend time doing it, we may even be able to turn the hobby into a career and end up with a lifestyle where work is play. What could be better than this?

With today’s stressful lifestyles, it’s important to make time to do something fun every day – if only for a few minutes. Some ideas of things to do include: gardening, photography, crossword puzzles, drawing, painting, playing an instrument, writing, playing sports, being outdoors, playing with children and playing board games.

Playing is no longer child’s play – in fact, children don’t even have enough time for play! Just think, by creating more space in your life for play, you can be the catalyst in changing society’s need to eliminate play. After all, "All work and no play makes Jack (or Jill) a dull boy (or girl).”

Lisa Rickwood is a freelance writer and author of the book, "Escape the Pace.” Visit her website for many ideas to rest and recharge at