Sure we’re all getting older, but there’s no reason we can’t still be young at heart. As a motivational speaker who spends a big chunk of my life being a responsible grown-up, I’ve discovered that adopting some child-like, not child-ish, behaviors does wonders for my mental health.
1. Notice the little things. One of the gifts of having my own daughters was re-discovering the joy of watching a lady bug land or a caterpillar inch along a leaf. Watching the girls' amazement and amusement reminded me to slow down and drink in the moment. Even today when I pause to become fascinated by something in nature – a bird, flower or sunset, I feel my stress begin to dissolve.
2. Take time to play. It’s the very nature of childhood, which is probably why as adults we tend to consider playing a waste of time. But spending time “goofing off” is a great way to decompress. Blue-eyes and I recently skipped on the beach and threw in a cartwheel for good measure. We both ended up laughing and smiling at our 60 seconds of foolishness. We both returned to our responsibilities renewed, with a fresh perspective, and a little more light-hearted. Try it.
3. Be curious. As an adult, it can be annoying when a little kid constantly asks, “Why?” as we’re explaining something to them. But that sense of curiosity can serve us as adults. Rediscovering that sense of wonder – that desire to get to the very heart of the matter – helps shift our perspective and takes us out of stagnant ways of thinking.
Now I think I’ll go have some milk and cookies and take a nap!