I recently had a chance to dance in a performance with a few of my close friends. It was a humorous expressive piece in which I played the mischievous little boy Krishna, and my friends played the women of the village who were constantly at the receiving end of his pranks.
We had just a few days to prepare for the performance, so we set aside our "real" work as much as we could and got together to choreograph and practice for the show.. As experienced dancers with incredible chemistry, we fell into improvising our dialogues and lines within the context of the item and its lyrics.
As a result, we had this complete freedom to create each of our characters the way we wanted, to be in the moment and to go with the flow. I especially got into the lighthearted spirit of the little boy who got away with so much naughtiness because of his innate charm and clever manipulations.
We cracked ourselves up constantly with our unexpected antics, impersonations, responses and back and forth repartee. We would frequently burst out into laughter - at one point, I was laughing so hard that I was literally rolling on the floor with tears of mirth running down my face. A two hour dose of this left me with a smile on my face all day with periods of giggling fits the likes of which I have not seen since my youth when playing around was more the norm than the exception.
Because that is what we were doing. We were playing - like carefree kids, with all our responsibilities temporarily suspended. I could almost feel all the neurons firing and neurochemicals releasing in my brain that reduced stress, increased bonding, increased my social awareness and improved my clarity of thought.
It got me thinking about how important play and fun was for all of us, not just our children; and sadly, how little time we give to it these days. Give yourself permission to play and add a daily dose of fun to your self care regimen. It will enhance your sense of well being and give your body, mind and spirit a much needed boost!