When was the last time you played, just played, for no particular reason?
‘Play’, the dictionary tells us, is ‘activity engaged in for enjoyment and recreation, especially by children’, but play should not be only reserved for the young, especially in 2021. In a world still gripped by the pandemic, even in such a protected bubble as the UAE, I wonder if perhaps play has ever been more important?
Take for example the words of Cale D. Magnuson and Lynn Barnett from the Department of Recreation, Sport, and Tourism University of Illinois in their research paper ‘The Playful Advantage: How Playfulness Enhances Coping with Stress’.
“Playfulness may serve a purpose much more extensive than previously thought and that its benefits persist beyond childhood and into adulthood,” they wrote. Adult playfulness may well contribute to the individual’s resilience through its unique employment of coping styles in the face of stressful situations. With the ubiquity of changes in their social landscape and climate, and the unique challenges of the 21st century, there may be few more valuable attributes to study and develop than the characteristic of resilience.”
So how does one personally study and develop such resilience through play?….