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Work hard, play harder 🎨

Life can move fast and it's very easy to forget to take time to stop and smell the roses. There's always something that you 'should' be doing, and it's precisely this pressure that we put on ourselves that causes our stress and anxiety levels to rise.

Despite the fact that many people have recently found themselves with a lot more time on their hands, national stress and anxiety levels have been on a steep increase, thanks to global events. And with little hope for stability any time soon, it's important to take steps to maintain your own mental health. 

Through the month of August, we're hosting the 30 Days of Play challenge and we want you to join us. For the whole month, you will be committing to focusing on one thing every day that was playful. It could be something creative, like 10 minutes of sketching a day; it could be quiet, like completing a word puzzle; or it could be silly, like dancing in the kitchen while you make dinner. Whatever it is, your challenge is to do something playful every day, and take a moment to reflect on how that makes you feel.

Aside from the fact that playfulness is nice and makes us feel good, there's a lot of science to show that taking time to notice the things that make you happy actually rewires your brain to notice more happy things. Your brain releases serotonin and dopamine which make you feel good, enhancing your mood immediately. Over time, the neural pathways involved in this pattern actually strengthen, making you create a permanently positive and grateful nature.

Even in really difficult times, by finding time for the things that make you feel good right now, you're able to shift the focus from your burdens to your blessings. This simple mindset shift has been shown to reduce feelings of depression, stress and anxiety and boosting mood and self esteem and reviving your motivation.

And it's not just that, finding the time to play regularly has been shown to:

  • Improve brain function
  • Stimulate the mind and boost creativity
  • Improve relationships and your connection to others
  • Keep you feeling young and energetic

To top it off, it's a bit of fun. There is absolutely nothing that's not enjoyable about finding time for joy, and it's infectious. Finding joy leads to spreading joy and that's definitely what the world needs a bit more of right now. 

Many tech companies have included play in their company culture, by providing things like table tennis and pool tables, and expecting teams to take breaks in the day to play with them. They've found that this approach means their teams have more productivity, higher job satisfaction, greater workplace morale and less people skipping work or leaving the company.

If your company hasn't introduced the play ethic, find time to do this for yourself. Keep a sketch pad and doodle on your breaks, joke with coworkers on coffee breaks, play cards or complete a crossword. This will strengthen your workplace relationships as well as boost your performance.

Remember - Success at work doesn’t depend on the amount of time you work; it depends upon the quality of your work. And the quality of your work is highly dependent on your well-being.

So download our 30 Days of Play sheet and start looking for opportunities to play! We'll be sharing our play and successes in our Facebook group, so come and join us there if you're not already. 

 

 

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