Are we play deprived?

“To the art of working well a civilized race would add the art of playing well.”

George Santayana
American philosopher


Recently I came across a blog post about fun deprivation.  Is this really true?  I do believe that cultures all over the world are suffering from too little fun.  The pace of life has increased, technology is the new reality, and a rise in daily stress has cause a deficit in our “play time.”
Play is important for children, but it’s just as important for adults.  It’s the food that feeds the soul.

It’s especially important to take the time for a break when you’re an assignee or a global business traveler who is always on the road.

Effects of play deprivation can include:

-Lower impulse control
-Poor anger management
-Relationships with little depth
-Propensity towards depression and addictive behavior
-Brain stagnation and malfunctioning of vital brain regions.

How do you bring play and fun back into your life no matter where you live or what you do?

The author of the book Play, Dr. Stuart Brown, has observed 8 “play personalities,” which identify activities that will bring you joy.

The 8 play personalities are:

1. The Joker savors practical jokes, and making people laugh.

  • Tell jokes and laugh
  • Look for comedy events

2.  The Kinesthete celebrates movement of the body.

  • Learn a new activity or play sports
  • Enjoy walks outdoors

3.  The Explorer takes pleasure in discovering new things.

  • Do something new
  • Investigate what fascinates

4. The Competitor plays to win.

  • Enjoy a game
  • Tune in to sports

5.  The Director enjoys arranging and executing events.

  • Plan a party
  • Organize your belongings

6.  The Collector loves to gather things.

  • Go on the hunt for an item to add to a collection
  • Exhibit or share the collection

7.  The Artist/Creator appreciates anything involving creativity or art.

  • Express yourself through an art activity
  • Take time to appreciate art

8.  The Storyteller delights in adventures through the imagination.

  • Write a story
  • Watch, read or listen to a captivating story

– Stuart Brown, Play (2010)
The National institute for Play

Life is short and play is an essential part of a complete life that increases our brain activity, reduces stress and opens our mind to see different options. Whether you’re a Joker, Kinesthete, Explorer, Competitor, Director, Collector, Artist/Creator, and Storyteller, or a combination of several, you can choose activities that can make you feel most alive. Don’t just sit there – start playing!

Written by Cathy Heyne, GMS-T, Managing Director