Adults Need Playtime Too
As an adult, it can be difficult for you to find time for yourself. Between jobs, bills, responsibility, life stresses, and the ever-present need for sleep, playtime usually takes a backseat. If you are in recovery from an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it can be even more difficult to find a way to relax and enjoy yourself since past practices may not be conducive to a healthy recovery. But playtime, in the form of self-care, is just as necessary now as it was for you when you were a child. There is a lot of overlap between self-care and playtime, and you can learn practical steps for recovery by observing how children play.
Denying Emotional Expression
Many adults fall into the trap of feeling the need to keep their emotions bottled up. Whether this is because adults are supposed to be strong and “shouldn’t cry” or simply because they feel as if they can’t let anyone see them see them cry, the result is the same: suppressed emotions. Children, however, suffer no such shame in expressing their emotions. Emotions don’t go away the older that people get and pretending that they do only allows them to grow under the surface. Eventually, those emotions will come out in some form or another.
Emotional expression can simply be taking the time to acknowledge how sad or painful something is, rather than pretending that it doesn’t bother you. Adults also fall into the trap of having alcohol available to them when they are dealing with something difficult, and it can be easy to use that as an immediate escape from their emotions. Freely expressing these emotions is an important part of being human, regardless of age.
Stress Can’t Be Constant
There are more than enough factors of stress in the world, from individual day-to-day responsibilities to the turmoil that the world experiences; due to this, stress can be a constant burden. However, stress shouldn’t be the only thing that you experience. Not having an outlet for stress can cause a plethora of different difficulties in your life and your emotional state.
You also shouldn’t let stress supplant the fun activities you need in life. You may need time to yourself in order to decompress, and it is important to do something that brings you happiness, rather than just trying to exist outside of the stressors. Finding time, or even scheduling time, to engage with your own interests outside of daily responsibilities and work is an important part of maintaining a healthy emotional state.
Don’t Deny an Effective Outlet
To effectively channel your stress and pent-up energies that you accumulate throughout the day, you need an outlet. It is important for you to divert your stress, both on the personal and familial front as well as the professional front. Everyone has a different outlet through which they effectively channel their stress. If someone enjoys playing video games as an adult, there is no reason to deny that outlet when an outlet is needed.
Playing cards, reading a book, painting a picture, playing a video game, or picking up a crafting hobby can all be valid outlets for adults. If you are in recovery, there is even a greater need for you to find something that you enjoy. Since there is such a great need for an outlet, is important for you to not limit your options, even if your outlet is drastically different than the outlet of other people.
Take the Time You Have Earned
After you find an effective outlet, it is important to then take the time to use it. This can involve scheduling time into your day or week in order to use it effectively. Making this clear schedule can help you manage your other responsibilities, as well as establish a time when you can put everything aside and simply enjoy yourself. When making your schedule, it can be easy to find an excuse to not take that time, through feeling that you are “avoiding” responsibilities. However, there is no substitute for taking the time that you need to express yourself and your emotions through your unique outlet.
Children are notorious for doing all of these things that adults need to champion. Taking time for self-care, allowing yourself to express your emotions, taking time to play, and enjoying what you want to enjoy to its fullest can help you establish a process of channeling your worries and concerns. There is an aspect of everyone that refuses to age and desires a fun and exciting outlet. Don’t be afraid to embrace the child-like aspect of yourself, rather than denying the notion that adults simply don’t have the time to have fun anymore.
There are a lot of ways that stress and troubles can sneak up on someone; self-medicating or denying this expression is a common way of trying to deal with this stress. Unfortunately, it can also be a highway to addiction. If you or a loved one are struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol and their co-occurring disorders, contact Brighton Recovery Center. Championing their established sense of community between patients and professionals, their large, six-building campus has many ways of helping people express and enjoy themselves among like-minded and sober communities. For more information on the various programs that Brighton offers, contact one of their caring staff today at (844) 479-7035.