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Playtime Isn’t Just for Kids — Adults Can Benefit, Too

A woman on a swing being pushed from behind by a man
Westend61/Getty Images

Remember those carefree childhood days when you spent hours at the playground, coloring or just acting silly with friends? Well, there’s no reason kids should have all the fun.

Bringing more play and playfulness into adult life may help enhance happiness and mental health, research suggests. And playfulness can be taught. Reframing everyday situations as playful ones improved well-being and ameliorated depression in 533 adults ages 18 to 84 in a study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being in 2020

Try these starter tips to add some playtime to your life:

  1. Go back in time. Think about the activities you enjoyed as a child. Flying kites? Double Dutch jump rope? Playground games? Board games? Coloring? Dancing? Blowing bubbles?
  2. Pick something you can do today. Spend a half-hour or more on pure fun. Grab a pal (of any age), or have your own personal play session.

Learn more about playtime in adulthood on Staying Sharp.

This content is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any expert, professional or specialty advice or recommendations. Readers are urged to consult with their medical providers for all questions.

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