How to Become More Playful as an Adult and Why It Is Important?

Sarah Walker at event at Burning Women Festival, UK.

Being playful has been on my mind a lot recently.  As adults we often think playing is for children only and we have to be serious all the time and act grown up.  I know that being playful is a really important part of who I am and what keeps me well mentally and physically and I also feel it is a trait that I appreciate and look for in others in all aspects of my life.

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw

Why is it important to be playful as an adult?

We encourage children to play and we appreciate it is important for their development and wellbeing so why do we stop playing? A lot of research shows that playing can benefit people of all ages and can have a positive impact on our relationships, our work life, our physical well-being and especially our mental health.

So here is a few of the many benefits of incorporating play in your adult life:

  • It can improve and support your emotional wellbeing. Exposing yourself to play and having fun can support your emotional health by replacing negative behavioursinto more positive ones.
  • Prevents burnout at work. If we can remain happy, we are less likely to experience burnout at work. Playing can help relieve stress that might come with deadlines and other work related activities.
  • Improves connections with others. When adults play together, it often involves laughter and having fun and this can increase empathyand compassion for others.
  • Refreshes your mind and body. Play is a natural healer of the body and the brain. It provides us with positive feelings and energy that directly benefit our mental and physical wellbeing.
  • Stress reliever. Playing can release endorphins, which are the body’s natural ‘happy’ chemicals that make us feel great. Endorphins are chemicals that can relieve stress and pain and boost our overall wellbeing.

With my ambition to bring more playfulness into my life recently, I opted to do an amazing paint throwing experience by the lovely ladies at at the Burning Women festival that I recently went to.  It really was so much fun and also so nurturing and freeing. 

So with this in mind, I thought I might give some ideas on how to introduce some play into your everyday life:

  1. Have a play date.  I couldn’t recommend highly enough the fun I had at where I got to make a total mess and we couldn’t stop laughing.
  2. Spend time around young children.  You can’t help leave your adult brain behind when you play with young children and enter their innocent world of play.
  3. Dance. Dance around your kitchen, dance on your own or with others.  It really is a great way to be playful and just make sure you let go of the judgement of how you look.
  4. Spend a day or some time wondering around a town or destination without any plans or scheduled route.  Let your playfulness guide you on where to go and what you might discover and experience.
  5. Do some handy crafts or art. It might have been years since you painted or did some sewing but why not give it a go again.  Use a colouring book, paint a picture, make a collage, sew a toy together…..Leaving any judgement behind of the end result but just enjoy the process.
  6. Watch those funny cat videos.  Make time to watch those silly cat and animal videos that you normally get sent or see on your social media feeds but don’t watch.  Make time for laughing and if you don’t want to watch them – then how about watching cartoons that you use to watch when you were a kid.
  7. Fly a kite.  Nothing is more freeing than going into the countryside and flying a kite.
  8. Sledging and snow ball fights. When the snow comes then go and play with your friends – go sledging or have a snow ball fight. 
  9. Spend a day at a fair or theme park.  Book a ticket to go to a theme park or fair and go on the rides.  Enjoy screaming and laughing on the rides and try and win a cuddly toy.
  10. Desk toys. Treat yourself to a fun desk toy or something to play with when you are working and that might give you some stress relief or give you some escapism in your every day.

If you feel that you aren’t living a life that you love and your not sure where to start with changing it, then it might be time to work with a Transformational Life Coach.  I work with clients to support them design a life they love and that will definitely include time for being playful.

If you would like a free 30 minutes discovery session then please do contact me on 0771 363 1565 or email me on and we can plan a call to see how coaching might help you.

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