This blog post will explore why we must rethink our relationship with work and rediscover the joy of play. As teachers & educators, we are often defined by our work. We are expected to work long hours, take on multiple responsibilities, and significantly impact children’s lives. But what happens when we lose sight of what truly matters? When work becomes all-consuming, we may forget to make time for ourselves and our loved ones.
The Evolution of Work:
In the past, work was simply a means to an end. People worked to provide for their families and make ends meet. However, over time, work has become much more than that. It is now an integral part of our identity. We spend most of our waking hours at work and often define ourselves by our jobs. As a result, we tend to prioritize work over other aspects of our lives, such as our relationships and opportunities to relax and find the joy of play.
The Cult of Productivity
Another reason why we have lost sight of the joy of play is our obsession with productivity. We are constantly bombarded with messages that tell us to work harder, longer, and smarter. We feel guilty when we take time off to relax or spend time with our loved ones. We believe that if we are not working, we are wasting time. This mindset can be incredibly damaging, as it robs us of our creativity, motivation, and joy. This is the same message we send children when adults tell them, “It is not time to play. It is time to work.”
The Importance of Play
Play is essential for our mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It allows us to explore our imagination, be curious, and connect with others. Play helps us develop our problem-solving skills, resilience, and creativity. When we make time to rediscover the joy of play, we become more productive, innovative, and engaged in our work. We also improve our relationships and overall quality of life.
How to Rediscover the Joy of Play
We first need to shift our mindset to rediscover the joy of play. We must understand that play is not a waste of time but an essential part of our lives. We also need to prioritize play by setting aside time for it in our schedules. This can be as simple as walking in nature, playing a board game with friends, or trying a new hobby. We can also incorporate play into our work by finding ways to make it more fun, engaging, and meaningful. Adult play can be easily incorporated into our daily lives.
The Benefits of a Playful Mindset
We can improve our well-being and success at work by embracing a more playful mindset. We become more resilient, creative, and motivated. We also become better problem-solvers and collaborators. By making time for play, we can cultivate a sense of joy and wonder that helps us stay grounded and connected to what truly matters.
In conclusion, as educators, it is easy to become consumed by our work and lose sight of the joy of play. However, we can improve our overall well-being and success by rethinking our relationship with work and prioritizing play. We become more creative, resilient, and engaged in our work by embracing a playful mindset. So, let’s make time for play, rediscover our passions, and live a more joyful and fulfilling life.
Are you interested in bringing more
playful professional development opportunities to your team?
Purchase the book: Just Play! Inspiring Adult Play in Early Childhood Education