Recapture those free and easy days with these tips
Ah, the olden days – a time when we could lose an entire morning to imaginary games that took us on journeys to other worlds, dabble in the arts with no thought to how the end project might measure up, and skip on down the road without a care about who might see us.
OK, we’ll take the rose-tinted glasses off for a minute to admit that growing up isn’t always plain sailing – but there’s a lot we adults can learn from children when it comes to embracing the things that make us happy. Here, we’re sharing four wellbeing lessons we could pick up from kids.
1. Tune-in to your creative side
Adult colouring books have been a booming product over recent years, and for good reason – this mindful activity helps us to switch off from the stresses of everyday life, in favour of delving into something creative. But beyond colouring, letting go of any fear and just picking up a pencil to see what appears on the page in front of you is another very freeing and expressive activity. As adults, we gather up ideas about the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to do things, but those standards can hold us back from letting go and having fun. So what if you colour over the lines? Who cares if the proportions of your stick figure are slightly alien? As all adults know, mistakes are part of life, but pushing past them to find joy in creativity once again, can feel empowering and creatively challenging all at once.
2. Escape to distant lands
In the past year, children’s book review site Toppsta.com saw a 78% increase in adults reading and reviewing children’s books for their own enjoyment. So what’s drawing them in? Well, it could be the sense of nostalgia, or it could be the comfort of simple story structures, larger than life characters, moral tales, noble triumphs, and fantastical lands. Young adult (YA) fiction is similarly popular with fully-grown adults, with readers returning to the escapism of fiction with simple and engaging plots.
Reading is a fantastic way to switch off from the day, and it’s worth remembering that you can delve into a book with no expectations – there’s no need to come out with detailed criticism of the literary themes, or keep up with the latest bestsellers if that’s not for you. And if you’re not a huge fan of reading, there are a wealth of high-quality audiobooks available to explore, with studies finding that both listening to an audiobook, and reading a physical copy, activate the same areas of our brains.
3. Move freely
We’re all aware of the benefits that moving our bodies can have on our mental health, but when did exercise become so… punishing? The world of sport and fitness can be intimidating, especially if you’re not in the habit of exercising. We can face anxiety about the way our bodies will look, whether we can keep up with others around us, and what the right way to exercise is. As a child, it’s likely you skipped merrily wherever you went, played tag with your friends, climbed trees, or went on meandering walks and adventures. What’s to say you can’t do that again? Break down your idea of what it means to exercise well, and move your body in ways that feel good to you – that could be yoga, swimming, walking, or skipping, and could be for five minutes, or 50.
As for playground games, Rabble runs exercise classes for adults across the country, each session made up of playground games you will recognise from your youth, and you can find out more by visiting joinrabble.com.
"In the past year, there was a 78% increase in adults reading and reviewing children’s books for their own enjoyment"
4. Test your curiosity
Who says that learning’s over the moment you walk out the school gates? There are lessons to find every single day in life, all it takes is a bit of curiosity. As a child, you probably bombarded adults in your life with ‘whys’ at every corner, and there’s no reason why that zest for life should end in adulthood. Take time to understand the world and people around you, and then turn that curiosity inwards – what have you still got to learn about yourself? Does your mood seem to take a dip at a certain time each week? Do you struggle to sleep before a specific event? Does an activity bring back difficult emotions you can’t quite express? There is so much that can be achieved with self-knowledge and a working understanding of the world around you – the inner and outer world are your oysters!
To connect with a life coach to discuss ways to improve your own wellbeing, visit lifecoach-directory.org.uk