Spend 3 minutes a day in June getting your Self ready for the beach.
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Growing up, my friend Jared’s mother was deeply involved with her church’s volunteer efforts. Her sons and his friends (me included) called her “Sister Lisa” because her faith and her lovingkindness were so strong.

Lisa was busy. She had a full-time job - not that I remember what it was - in addition to being a mother and a wife.

There was always just so much for her to do. Until the bubbles. I hadn’t heard from Lisa in several years, but she called me to tell me about the bubbles.

During one spiritual retreat, the retreat leader gave them bubbles. You know, the little bottles of bubble solution with those little wands. They were instructed to blow bubbles for the next activity.

Lisa described how she started blowing the bubbles, first seeing how many she could get in one breath. Then seeing how big of a bubble she could blow. As the bubbles touched the dew on the grass, they stuck to them.

Could she join the bubbles together? Yes, she could. In fact, while the other women at the retreat concentrated very hard on their bubbles, Lisa found herself running back and forth trying to catch the bubbles and bring them together.

The lightbulb went off for her: she was playing.

She was just doing what little kids do. Playing. Having fun. She felt happy and free.

The realization didn’t stop her. Gradually the other women joined her and they began adding to the bubble creations, being careful not to step on the bubbles, but laughing when they tripped and accidentally squashed some.

Lisa asked me, “Beth, what are you doing to play? Not bubbles, but something else. What is it?”

That’s the question I want to pose to you today.

What are you doing for fun?

We already know that a Beach Ready Self requires regular Self care.

Self care involves having some kid fun. Like blowing bubbles.

As adults, we are known for not doing enough of it. Like Lisa, we think playing is a waste of time. We have more important things to do! Or so we think.

My grandmother died more than 40 years ago, but to this day what I remember most about her is how she would suddenly do something fun or funny unexpected. Once she took out her teeth and laughed to scare us. It is still scary! I wished I got to know her better, she was so  funny! She taught me something important: you are never too old to play and have fun.

Children play in imitation of us working. To get our “play” back we might just need to imitate them.

Try hanging out with a few of those younger sort, or even with some fun-loving animals.

If you need a serious reason to play:
Play makes us laugh and laughter IS medicine!

How to have fun just like a little kid

Play is unstructured activity where the only goal is to have fun. If blowing bubbles isn’t your thing, and you can’t take out your teeth, try these:
  • Run down a hill really fast. Or roll!
  • Splash around in a puddle or at the edge of a lake kicking up the water as high as it will go
  • Skip a stone as many times as you can while you are by that lake
  • Write up some silly limerick and sneak it to a colleague
  • Jump on the trampoline or try that hula hoop
  • Make some noise. Play a harmonica or beat a stick to some music (More cowbell!)
  • Sing in the car as loud as you can.
Get others involved. Be like my grandmother and do the unexpected by joking around. See how many people you get to laugh.

Children do help us play so find a few to hang out with and see what they come up with.

It's part of your prescription for Self Care.
What did you do for play today? Click here to get inspired by others
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Image credit

"Reese Overwhelmed by Bubbles" by Flickr user 
Donnie Ray Jones is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
Copyright © 2016 Beth Rogerson, PhD, All rights reserved.

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