Goal: Act Like a Child
“Oh, why don’t you grow up!” isn’t something you’d say to a 2-year-old. Most parents express that their children “grow up too fast.” However, once we’ve reached a certain age, this is a regular sentiment. What an injustice we are giving to ourselves and each other!
We were not created to grow up and stop experiencing whimsy. Acting “like a child” is extremely beneficial to our overall well-being. I’m taking this opportunity during “summer vacation” to remind you how important it is to “be a kid” throughout our lives. Make a goal of acting like a child at least once a week (to start)!
Acting like a child provides the following benefits to your body:
- Get physical!: Kid are always moving. Find something do do that is physical and fun. Even if you’re a warrior in the gym, adding alternative “fun” movement to your day is good for your body, mind, and spirit. Walk (or skip!) through a field, take a plunge in a pool to do something other than swim laps, jump on a trampoline, turn up music and dance like no one is watching… just find fun and make it work for you! Studies show climbing a tree, or walking on a balance beam help improve working memory. All of these activities also helps reduce stress and anxiety!
- Go green: Spending just five minutes in a green space is enough to help lift your mood. Don’t just sit on a park bench, though, keep moving even at a gentle stroll pace. Breath in the fresh air. Listen to the sounds around you and experience the moment in time for nothing more than what it is.
- Color: Get out your crayons or colored pencils. The adult coloring book trend is on point. A recent study from San Francisco State University shows adults who stretch their creative muscles during down time have higher abilities to deal with stress and anxiety in the workplace and at home.
- Fidget!: A University of Queensland study finds adults who spend an extra two hours on their feet have higher HDL (good cholesterol) levels and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) levels. Fidget toys are everywhere these days. Grab a couple and see if using them during brainstorming sessions helps your creative juices flow!
- Play Video Games: Even if this was not part of your childhood, there’s no time like the present to start. Fast paced video games can improve your working memory, response time, ability to deal with change, and ability to develop new motor skills.
- LAUGH! Laughing is a natural anti-depressant that is proven to lower stress hormones and increase memory recall abilities. Plus, it’s fun and if you get a really good laugh going you’ll have a bonus ab workout! Researchers advise 10 good laughs a day will significantly impact your life. 10 may seem like a lot, but see if you can work them in!
- Rest: Kids seem to be able to sleep anywhere. Their little bodies know how to shut down and take a load off. Ways adults can improve their sleep are to keep a regular bedtime (and regular awakening time), sleep in a dark environment, stop utilizing electronics 2 hours before bedtime, and prohibit pets from sleeping with them. That last one hurts me sometime because I love snuggling with our dogs, but honestly, they don’t do you any favors in the rest department.
- Experience: Be present to your five senses: sight, taste, touch, smell, hearing. Take a 3-8 minute break several times during the day and just be present to what is around you. This can include tasting fresh fruit and truly taking the time to savor it and recognize the qualities- texture & smell. It might mean you stand up and stretch, walk around a bit and take some deep breaths all while being tuned-in to the sounds around you. Think about how a kid does this… blowing bubbles or twirling in circles for a minute (don’t get dizzy!)… find ways to experience your environment for a greater sense of being and connection. (Which, by the way, reduces stress!)
Some of my favorite coaching goals are to help people “find true self” in this busy world. All these things can help, but working with a coach can also make a big difference. Let me know how I can help you!