6: Adults Need Play Too! with Rachel Winston

Welcome to Ep. 6 of the Curiously You Podcast!

Today’s episode is all about PLAY! It’s amazing how fun, light and silly I feel even just writing that word!

Our guest is a play & creative arts therapist Rachel Winston, and today we dive into the reasons why we have lost our natural inclination to play, and what to do about it.

There is a body of evidence that suggests we actually learn better when we play. In this episode we blow apart that idea we have of “work hard, play hard”, and how actually working and play are not separate in the way we think they are. We are missing out on a whole host of benefits but NOT incorporating play into our every day, so we needn’t be afraid to play!

Rachel runs us through an exercise that helps us tap into our inner child, and bring them out to play. This exercise gives us great insight into finding meaning in our memory, making sense of the things we truly value, and generally just getting curious about that little being inside of us!

For those listeners who are parents, we explore how children can be our greatest teachers if we allow them, and they give us great insight into the things within ourselves that need healing. For those listeners who don’t have children, Rachel shares loads of tips and tricks for integrating personalised play moments throughout the day, and how it can heal that side of us that feels the need to produce and achieve all the time.

You’ll love this episode if:

You have bought into the “work hard, play hard” belief, and tend to be quite serious and controlling about separating work and play.

Are curious about your inner child, and wonder how bringing them out and being more playful may improve your life, and create more self-awareness.

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Time Stamped Show Notes

[03:47] Why we have lost touch with our natural inclination to play.

[03:98] Why play will actually help you learn better and live better.

[5:64] “Work hard, play hard!” – have you bought into this saying? I know I have! How we’ve accepted beliefs about play without questions, and why play is no the opposite of work (the way we think).

[8:51] How to incorporate play into your every day, particularly when commuting or in work.

[14:30] How play is now limited to just children, with examples of not only the benefits of adult play, but its necessity.

[15:19] Why people are afraid of play.

[17:45] As parents, how to use play to encourage the playful, curious and natural side of your child, and how to surrender and heal yourself in the process.

[21:21] How children are a mirror reflection of what needs to be healed in ourselves and how to tap into this healing when your child triggers you.

[27:46] Communication and healing through play with friends, partners and family.

30.22 How to diffuse arguments and disagreements with playfulness.

[32:00] The influence of unresolved childhood experiences that are carried into adulthood, for example, anger and how women, particularly, find it hard to express it.

[34:48] Rachel walks us through an exercise that you can try to make sense of your unconscious memories and experiences to create a more integrated you [unique value point].

[44:19] Why YOU are the authority on YOU.

[47:00] Why we are more sensitive to metaphor in our understanding & and how play taps into this.

[49:00] Embracing the feminine energy of living, and receiving wisdom, rather than pushing for it.

[50:40] Rachel’s various top tips for play and not feeling the need to produce all the time [unique value point].

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Key Take Homes

Work and play do not need to be separate, in fact the more we can incorporate play into our every day, the better it is for our learning, health and well-being, and the development of our imagination!

We’ve unconsciously bought into societal beliefs about play, but it’s time we questioned them and tried a new way.

There’s not a huge shift you need to make in your every day to start being more playful, you can be playful in idle moments, on your commute, at work, or even set aside a few minutes a day for play.

Curious Question

What could you be doing at home, work, on the commute, waiting for the bus, or any other time throughout the day to incorporate play into your day, however small?


The Body Keeps Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma by Bessel van der Kolk

Playing Big: A Practical Guide for Brilliant Women Like You by Tara Mohr

Divine Light Yoga

Rachel’s Website, Full Cup Play Therapy

Thanks so much for listening, and until the next episode, take care of yourself.

Much love,

Jen xx

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Hi Curious Friends!
I’m Jen, and Curiously You is a safe space for you to move past who you “should” be and step into who you are!

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Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Rachel says August 23, 2017

In the episode I focused on Jen’s inner child in the guided exercise as an example. Here are steps & prompting questions that listeners can follow for their own experience of this exercise that are more neutral for you to follow along with.

Step 1:
Find a private, safe & comfortable environment. Grab pencil(s) and paper.
Step 2:
Take a moment to close your eyes & ground yourself through focussing on your heartbeat or breathing. Get present.
Step 3:
Allow a memory from childhood to come into your mind. The first one that pops up. Now draw it (anyway you like. There is no wrong way).
Step 4:
Engage with your drawing. You can do this by written word or through a conversation with someone you trust.

Guide Questions:
Where is the scene? Who’s there?
What’s happening?
What are you drawn to?
Are you in the picture?
How old are you?
How did you feel?
Is there anyone else there?
What did you need? (you can draw extra things you need if you like & see how that feels)
Finally… What would your younger self say in this picture? (or what would the object you’re drawn to say if it could speak?)

Note the last question can be very emotional & insightful!
Share only what you feel comfortable sharing in the comments below.
What was your experience of this play based exercise? What did you learn about yourself?

I’ll be checking the comments here regularly so if there are any questions you have, do let me know! I’m delighted to be of service to you as part of this inspiring Curiously You community 🙂
Rachel x

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