Summertime is for slowing down. Kids understand this well. During summer vacation when we were kids, it was like we had a second life—a life where we often had different friends than during school, where rules were broken and where time didn’t matter. If you are lucky, you can take a long vacation this summer and get away from your work including e-mail—not easy with smart phones in your face—and live like you are a kid. Even if you can’t get away from work, you can still live like you are a kid any day of the year.
Find ways to play whatever the circumstances. Kids are great at finding ways to play regardless of the situation. Bring some playfulness to your work—your colleagues will probably thank you and if you work by yourself, your child self will thank you. Being playful means relaxing and loosening the grip on whatever you are doing. Try smiling and see how that can change everything. Find the lightness or perhaps hilarity in your work even when there are hard deadlines and watch how much more enjoyable it will be.
Take a time out. Living like a kid while we have obligations means you have to carve out time when you can turn off responsibilities. It might take deliberate planning when life is driving by so quickly. Yet, you must step away from activities that require great concentration and effort from time to time. That disconnection is critical for health and wellness and your sanity. So stop what you are doing whenever you get a chance and do nothing. Breathe.
Be spontaneous. Because you are so scheduled with obligations and tasks you might feel like you are on a boring and predictable treadmill. When you decide to do something fun or different or unusual at the last minute without having made advance plans, it can be very freeing. Kids are lucky that they have a whole summer off where they can be spontaneous and do whatever they want. Although you might feel like you are too busy to do that, there is truly no reason why you can’t be a little or a lot unstructured from time to time. Find ways to make your life a bit more unconstrained and watch the tension melt away.
Sure, kids have plenty of real issues to contend with just like adults, so what I am describing is part metaphor. Not just for weekends, living like a kid means that you seek out ways to bring in playfulness, joyfulness and silliness into your everyday life and practice escaping from burdensome aspects of life.
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