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The Importance of Play and Rest

As we end this month focused on our health, we would like to reflect on the concept of “Play and Rest” and the importance of them on our wellbeing.

As a society, we value and measure ourselves by success and productivity. In other words: How much we can do in a day?  If we find space in our schedule, we will add more in. However, are we putting enough value on ourselves and what we need? It is important to take care of ourselves and invest in our own happiness. In the book, The Power of Vulnerability by Brené Brown, two factors were stated in having a wholehearted life; Play and Rest.

When Play is mentioned, people may think of board games, sports, and family game nights. Are the games we Play with our family and friends, fun for us? Sure, we’re not working, and it is a game, but if we’re not enjoying ourselves then it is not Play.

Play is something we enjoy doing.

Brené Brown defines Play by three questions:

  1.         Are we doing it just because it’s fun?
  2.        Can we spend hours doing it?
  3.        Are we not concerned as to how we or our actions are seen?

If we can answer yes to these questions, then this could be our Play. It could be reading a book, hiking, photography, painting, writing, knitting, gaming and list goes on. Play is whatever you love doing; no matter what others think. Playing is important because we all deserve to have fun. Small pockets of happiness are what makes life enjoyable and worth it.

However, Rest is just as important. People have glorified the idea that exhaustion proves productivity. People sometimes brag as to how little sleep they need to function, but that is not taking care of ourselves. Although sleep is important and the body needs it, rest is not just about how much we sleep. We have all gone to sleep with our brains thinking a mile a minute about tomorrow and all that it brings. 

Rest is about taking time for ourselves. It is forgetting about work, kids, spouses, troubles, housework and just taking a quiet moment for ourselves. If that means going & quietly reading a magazine or sitting outside listening to a podcast; then so be it. Rest is about not having a commitment to anyone but ourselves. It’s carving out time in our busy schedule to breathe, while not letting anything else invade our time.

It is up to us to make the time for Play and Rest and to prioritize our wellbeing because most likely, no one else will do it for us.