Why You Should Adopt A Playful Approach To Life

adopt-a-playful-approach-to-lifeI think most of us take life and ourselves far too seriously. We take on the mantle of roles and responsibilities at work and home, and believe that we are indispensable, that the world would collapse if we played hooky from work, or didn’t organize the linen cabinet, or dust the shelves before the guests came over.

What would people think” seems to be the constant refrain running through our heads as we rush through life, doing, doing, doing. Which often leads to burn out, a growing sense of irritation, and a disconnect from our very essence.

One antidote to this is to adopt a sense of playfulness in our lives.

But, what does adopting a playful approach to life mean?

Let me illustrate this with a little vignette.

I met up with my besties last weekend, three girls and a half man (my friend’s 4-year old son). As we sat around the lunch table chatting, he was busy in a corner playing with his cars, using our purses as mountains and one half of the bench as his rally track. Reflected on his face was intense concentration and seriousness, as he moved his car around an imagined track.

Occasionally we’d reach over to grab something from our purse, and he would give us a grumpy frown. We’d reciprocate with funny faces and tickles, and he’d erupt into peals of laughter. And then we’d return to our conversation, and he would return to his rally track.

That’s what I mean by playfulness.

Having a playful approach to life is not an abdication of seriousness, it’s about going through life lightly. Click To Tweet

The half man could have kicked up a tantrum every time we messed with his mountains, but he enjoyed the little interruptions and then reworked his rally “strategy” by moving the mountains (our purses) around just so, and proudly crowing – “Look at my new mountain, mumma!

How would things change for us if we approached life from a more playful lens?

Personally, I’ve found that when I adopt an attitude of playful seriousness towards life, I don’t beat myself up or give up when I come face to face with challenges and delays. Instead, I adopt a more curious approach to rethinking my strategy – and my priorities – and from there, I make small or big tweaks to achieve the things that really matter to me. Often, this means pruning away everything and then bringing back the things that really enrich my life. This ensures that I can listen to what I want, not what the experts and gurus try to convince me that I want!

Over to you: How do you adopt a playful approach to life? I’d love it if you tell me in the comments!

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I’m an artist and art educator, podcaster, tarot reader, and writer. I share my discoveries along the path to inspire you to live a more creative, soul-centered life. Receive my love letters for more of my musings on life and creativity. P.S. I love Instagram - join me there?


  1. I used to be that way but a few hefty blows from life kinda knocked some excessive seriousness into me… need to change back slowly but steadily.

  2. Hey Shinjini, I was scrolling to read more!! But the post ended. i have also written many times on my post that scheduling is good but if not completed rethink and take it easy. We are all humans and we need peace first. I want to have more on this from you. Children teaches us or rather reminds us so many forgotten things about life.

  3. Life itself is the best teacher. When your earnestness goes in vain you realise the pointlessness of it all. And to avoid the negativity that can seep in, I adopt an attitude of going with the flow. I remind myself that I will leave all this behind me and in time I won’t even be a memory….. so what’s the point in killing myself to get things just right?

    • That’s true – life is an excellent teacher! All of the things that we stress about, in time, they look like such small, insignificant things. Even the hard knocks, when we look back on them with time, we realize that we did manage to overcome and to carry on – so best to just go with the flow, as you put it so beautifully! 🙂

  4. he sounds absolutely gorgeous! It is so true I totally freak out when guests pop in unexpected it is like ‘oh my gosh did I leave that washing on the sofa to fold later!!!’ I worry far to much what pole think of my home and I think it comes from my mum keeping the most immaculate home ever, but I am not her and people do not love me because I have a tidy home. I think fun in life is key, just this morning I had my son who couldn’t find his school sock, he had one but not the other, I had my 13 year old grumping at everyone because she is feeling sad about her bestie leaving school, and my other daughter was nagging me to do her hair. I just wanted to get ready in peace. But I adjusted my attitude, I did my daughters hair whilst singing a silly song about hair, I then helped my son rescue his lost sock and I hugged my 13 year old and acknowledged it was a hard time for her. Just by changing our way of approaching things we can be happier and so can those around us. Great post! #mg

    • I know that freak out so well – I’m not great at housekeeping, but my mother, she kept an immaculate house! It’s taken me a long time, too, to realize that my friends love me for me, not for how spotless my house is! And I love how you changed your approach and made things smoother for your children. Situations like these are when we tend to have meltdowns, but by not letting them irritate us, we can make things so much better for everyone involved, including ourselves!

  5. We learn so much from our littles, don’t we. They are often times so ahead of the game. I wonder when we, as people, begin to lose that playfulness. It is mindfulness for me, that allows it back in — no easy task, but definitely doable! Thank you for this great post! #mg xooxo

    • I think it’s the whole growing up process and the importance of living a life by the rules, so to speak, that makes us lose that playfulness. And then we need to relearn it as we grow older and more serious!

  6. I used to be very serious about everything in my life until I met my husband who follows the same funda as my dad – jo hoga dekha jayega… The playful approach to life is needed these days… We have become a little too serious for our own good. ?

  7. That vignette you shared was so adorable 🙂

    I learnt to be a little playful thanks to my husband. He’s the most cheerful thing on the planet and he taught me how to be playful at times. As much as I’d like to say that I am playful, I still am more wary than playful. With time, hopefully, I’ll learn to let go.

    • Yeah, that half man is adorable! We call him the lady killer – he’s got the cutest and naughtiest smile! 😉

      And it’s the opposite with the husband and me – I am teaching him to be more playful, and he is teaching me the importance of discernment and being wary. I do think we need both – striking that balance, that is key!

  8. I couldn’t agree more, though I tend to use mindfulness but when I stop to think about it, they are kind of the same thing. Except that playfulness is more playful and helps me relax in a different way. I love your analogy with the little boy. If only more of us took the time to see the world through our children’s eyes. We would have a much better world because we would have a much more relaxed view on life:) #MondayStumble

    • What I’ve realized is that life will give us hard knocks – it’s how we respond that matters. There have been times when I’ve given in to despair, but I always turn back to the light…to the playfulness…and the joy of being alive! xx

  9. This sounds a lot like what I’d do 🙂 I let go when things don’t go according to plan. I love to plan but don’t get trapped in my schedules. I keep them flexible, allow room for change and spend a lot of time doing things outside the lines 🙂 It keeps me happy, keeps me engaged and makes me laugh. Life is a game and learning to play it is the best gift we can give ourselves.

    • That’s the best planning strategy to adopt! I keep my plans very flexible too – adapting and tweaking them as I go. That keeps me from feeling like I’m leading an overly regimented life, while ensuring, at the same time, that I am getting to everything sooner rather than later! 🙂

  10. Oh I love this concept! I worked in daycare for 13 years so I am pretty playful and adapt very easily to challenges. I figure we won’t get out of life alive so there’s no point in being miserable. #GlobalBlogging

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