• Ally Wettengel

5 Ways to Evoke a Sense of Play

Call me crazy but these Corona times remind me a bit of my childhood snowdays in Arkansas. We would sit huddled around the tv waiting for disappointing news of what basketball game was cancelled and then rush to the local Walmart to stock up on food & toilet paper in case we were snowed in. The difference was when we saw the name of our school on a list of cancellations due to snow we would all cheer. It meant we had full permission to get out of our routine, stay in our pjs most of the day, have more quality time with the fam, and get creative with ways to entertain ourselves around the house.

Believe me, I do not want to make light of what is going on in the world as it is absolutely devastating but I do want to challenge ourselves to reframe the stay at home experience. Heck I was supposed to be in a campervan hitting all the cool surf spots down the Eastern Coast of Australia for my 40th, followed by Coachella, & then my mom's wedding in Arkansas (all have been postponed until the end of the year). Sure there are many moments when all of us feel anxious & bummed out, but what if we proactively reframed those thoughts to something we are so grateful for? Right now for me it's the beautiful safe, friendly, & happy place I call home - Leucadia, California.

My heart goes out to everyone around the world as we face into these uncertain times. Thank you to all the health care workers, the volunteers, and the humans going over & beyond trying to keep people safe, happy, and connected.

So as I move into celebrating my 40th with staying home I can't think of a better quote to represent how I want to be in this next chapter of my life than the one below from George Bernard Shaw.

"We don't stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing!"

Think it's time you joined that mentality? Read on.

Cruising into my 40s at home in Leucadia.

5 Ways to Evoke a Sense of Play in Your Life

1) Get out of your comfort zone & encourage yourself to be a beginner. Give yourself permission to try something new. Start to learn a language, try an online dance class, attempt to play an instrument. All professionals started as amateurs so take yourself back the beginning.

2) Get handsy beyond the phone, keyboard, or remote. Order paint & a canvas, try an adult coloring book, build something in the backyard, put together a puzzle, or create a new baking sensation.

3) Channel your inner child & create a recess ritual. Working from home can cause us to move less and can be extremely boring. Set a timer & once an hour get up & dance, run a lap, drop & do pushups - take a freakin recess!

4) Challenge your friends. It's always fun to talk smack with your friends & with self isolation there's no better time to keep the witty humor up. Tik tok, see10do10, or create your own. The back & forth encouragement (or trash talking) has endless opportunities.

5) Prepare your mind for lighthearted La La land. Pick up an old childhood favorite & read it outloud as your own bedtime story. On my nightstand currently - The Lion The Witch & the Wardrobe.

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