Connect to Your Summer Body Through Play

Connect to Your Summer Body Through Play

By Vanessa Rossel

August 2, 2022

Summer gives us longer days and warmth. It can feel like there’s a little more time to explore and step into the unknown. The extra sunlight of summer days gives plenty more space to be out in the sun, boosting mood and contributing to better mental health.

As we make use of the season by getting our hands dirty and asking questions, we engage with the act of play. The universal performance of play may look like revisiting a cherished hobby or exploring something entirely fresh. Learning something new has a way of evoking feelings of mindfulness and presence. Play can bring joy, boost learning, relieve stress, and connect us to ourselves and the world. It’s powerful enough to trigger a chemical reaction in the brain — the release of endorphins, the body’s natural way of combating depression. It’s innately human and essential to a child’s development, thus why as adults we may gravitate to it for connecting us to our inner child. It also serves as an opportunity to tap into any childlike curiosity that’s lived inside while surviving a global pandemic.

You might be wondering “what’s considered play?” It is anything that you don’t feel forced to do, that makes the time blissfully pass by, grounds you in the current moment, and ultimately contributes to your happiness. It’s a different process for each person and can be practiced in solitude or in community. Sometimes we have the desire to try things, difficult or easy, to help us figure out if we want to make them a part of our play practice. If that’s the case for you, here are just a few ideas to get the juices flowing, take what you need and make it yours.


  1. Go back in time

Remember your younger self and feel what made you jump with joy. A childhood memory can unlock desires you didn’t remember you had. Getting messy is not reserved exclusively for a particular age group.

  1. Zine making

If you have paper, something to write with, and a desire to hold an idea in your hands, you have everything you need to make a zine. Write that love letter to yourself that you’ve always wanted to receive, rank all of your favorite movie sequels, or create a collection of your favorite doodles - the world is your oyster..

  1. Learn how to forage

Yes, it sounds fun and practical. If you’re eager to dive into the many resources on edible mushrooms, this one’s for you! Summer’s also the time to find some ripe berries, a fruit that's versatile and packed with nutrients for the brain and body.

  1. Dream up a signature comfort beverage

Making your morning smoothie or cup of coffee can be a loving act. Perhaps some time can be dedicated to prepping and sourcing the most wonderful ingredients from your fav market, fruit stand, bodega, or farmer's market for an adventure. Take your time carefully putting it together, even give it a name and make it for your loved ones.

Don’t forget, play calls for consideration of the experience rather than just the outcome. It’s beneficial to feel all parts of the process and learn about yourself and your truest wants and needs. Let us know how it goes!


Sources:

The Benefits of Play for Adults