Friday, July 19, 2013

20 Ways to Bring More Play into Your Day

Life coaches are notorious "players." Check out Mary Beth Leisen's site at and Allison Snyder (pictured on the phone) at

On the heels of my last post, I thought it would be fun to offer up some solutions to the all-work-no-play dilemma many of us may be facing.

Here are 20 quick tips for bringing more play into your day-to-day:
  1. Create a "Play" playlist and listen to it when you need a boost. I find that anything from the 80s featuring Olivia Newton-John immediately brightens my mood.
  2. Let yourself doodle. Or color if you have crayons at the ready. Or paint if that's what floats your boat. You get the idea...
  3. Free write—anything you want—in a journal for 10 minutes. Doing this every day can open up a whole new path to creativity.
  4. Turn a meal into a fun event. Have breakfast for dinner and get decked out in your favorite sexy pjs, make a picnic on the living room floor, or recreate a meal you had on a favorite vacation.
  5. Sit on a stool or a wall or a countertop and swing your feet. You'll feel like a kid again. 
  6. Dance while you're doing the dishes. Or while you're vacuuming or cooking. Music obviously helps with this one...
  7. Watch something funny on YouTube. Like this or this or this.
  8. Let yourself be imperfect. Allow yourself to do something badly or messily in the spirit of creativity and fun.
  9. Recall a funny memory and send a "remember when" email to a friend or family member. You'll likely brighten their day as well as your own.
  10. Challenge your coworkers to a game of Scrabble (or basketball or whatever else tickles your game fancy). Nothing breaks up the monotony of the day like a little friendly competition.
  11. Change your shoes. Keep flip flops or bunny slippers under your desk or near your front door and slip into them when you want to be reminded of relaxation mode.
  12. Spend some play time with a pet. Obviously dogs and cats are easy marks, but I've had playful encounters with hummingbirds and squirrels who're peeking in my window. (Note: probably want to avoid playing with raccoons, coyotes, and mountain lions...)
  13. Tune into Hulu during your lunch break. My favorite playful shows are New Girl, The Mindy Project, and Modern Family.
  14. Challenge yourself to come up with song lyrics about whatever task you're doing. (I might use Macklemore's Thrift Shop when I'm copywriting... I'm gonna write some ads, only got 20 words in my pocket...)
  15. Chew bubble gum. And blow bubbles. Avoid getting gum in your hair...
  16. Send someone (or yourself) a JibJab card. The disco ones are my favorite.
  17. Go outside. Something about being outdoors always feels a little like you're playing hooky.
  18. Hang out with children and go along with whatever they tell you to do. They're expert players. I once found my brother-in-law laying in a recliner having his teeth faux-cleaned by my niece who was playing dental hygienist. Classic.
  19. Leave anonymous "love" notes around your home or office for people to find. You'll feel like you're playing a secret spy game and recipients' days will be made when they discover messages telling them they're wonderful and amazing.
  20. Build something. A tower out of your loose change. A teepee out of the pens on your desk. A mosaic out of M&Ms. Again, building is a great way to tap into fun and creativity—the signature marks of play.
As I was compiling this list, my hubby and his best friend came into the room so I asked them how they like to add play to their work days. The reply I got was: Fart jokes.

Apparently that should be #21 on the list.

Play on, my friends!


  1. I'm pretty sure #22 should be "Bookmark this post and read it whenever you need a lift." Seriously, I felt lighter and happier just thinking about the suggestions in this post!

  2. Right on. Mission accomplished. :)