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.
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].
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.
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
Rachel’s Website, Full Cup Play Therapy
Thanks so much for listening, and until the next episode, take care of yourself.