Many of the fun, entertaining Activities you played as a child are still great to play now that you’re an adult. Whether you enjoy playing card games with friends or getting together with family to play Monopoly, these classic games can help you unwind after a long day and let off some steam in the process.
But in order to have fun as an adult, it’s important to be mindful of your mental health first—after all, the opposite of play isn’t work, it’s depression.
1) The power of play
There are so many benefits to playing when it comes to your mental health. Playing can be a great way to release stress and anxiety, stimulate creativity, or just take a break from the day-to-day grind. It’s also often thought of as being important for children, but play is actually important for all ages. Here are seven different types of play that people can do on their own or with friends:
1) Solve puzzles –
Puzzles like crosswords, sudoku, and Minesweeper offer opportunities for problem-solving skills in an environment where you know all the rules. If you’re having trouble solving a puzzle on your own, there are plenty of options online that allow people to collaborate on solving them together!
Some sites even have one player set up the puzzle while another person solves it remotely using video chat. Puzzle games can help foster cooperation between players and give everyone a sense of accomplishment.
2) Get competitive
– Whether they’re competitive board games, card games, or sports, competitive games give players a chance to test themselves against others.
Some of these games have clear winners while others are more cooperative in nature — whichever type you prefer will depend on what kind of competitive drive you have inside yourself!
Continuation (six+ sentences using the words: ): Competitive sports provide outlets for those who want something physical to work off some aggression or energy by challenging themselves against another player or team instead of fighting it out among themselves.
Not only does this help the body work out some tension, but it helps with relieving feelings of anger, frustration, or sadness.
3) Collaborate on art
– Art offers participants a space to explore emotions and express themselves creatively without feeling judgmental from others.
Whether it’s painting pictures together, making crafts at home or at school, or writing stories–the arts are powerful tools for self-expression!
4) Practice mindfulness meditation
– Meditation isn’t just about stopping thoughts–it’s about learning how to deal with thoughts when they come up. With mindfulness meditation practices you learn how to observe thoughts without reacting too quickly based on them–giving yourself time to choose how you want to react rather than automatically following whatever impulse first pops into your head.
Activities that boost mood
1- Mindfulness meditation:
This is a game that can be played by anyone. You just sit down with your eyes closed, place your attention on your breathing, and focus on the sounds around you.
2- Listening to music
: Music has been shown in studies to boost mood, improve pain tolerance, relieve anxiety, decrease stress hormones, and increase dopamine levels in the brain.
3- Playing a musical instrument:
Playing an instrument is not only fun but also improves motor skills and self-esteem.
Reading is one of the most popular ways of escaping from reality or at least temporarily forgetting about our problems.
Activities that increase focus
– To increase focus, you can try brainstorming with a partner or small group of friends. When you’re brainstorming, you have to have good listening skills, be an active participant in the discussion, and put your thoughts out there without judgment or criticism. This is a great game for those who are shy, who like to talk too much (or not enough!), or who don’t feel comfortable speaking up.
– This is a fun game that’s also great for your memory! Play it with a partner or as part of a larger group where everyone can see all the cards on the table at once. You’ll need to match pairs by looking at both sides of the card and remembering what they look like. Your goal is to remember which pile each card came from so you know which ones need to go back into its original pile before time runs out. Keep track of how many matches you found in each pile until time runs out–the player who finds more matches wins!
Tic Tac Toe
– Tic Tac Toe is one of the oldest games around and a favorite among kids, but this classic game will work just as well for adults. It’s perfect if you’re feeling lazy because it doesn’t require any materials other than pen and paper. Draw three lines across the page to make nine boxes, then draw an X in one corner box; start by drawing another X in one of the other corner boxes and continue filling them up until someone wins.
Color blind test
– Next time you find yourself having a conversation about colors with someone who has color blindness, why not take them through this little test?
Take two pieces of plain white paper, crumple them up, open them up again, and lay one next to the other. Now ask your friend which piece is lighter in color.
In most cases, the person with normal vision will say the piece on top is lighter–even though it isn’t lighter at all!
The only difference between these two pieces of paper is that they have different colors printed on top. The same thing happens when people with color blindness try to tell colors apart:
If something printed in red touches something printed in green or blue–which would normally appear purple–they may think it’s pink instead!
Letter Slider Game
– This game works best with two people, but it can be played solo if you want a challenge! There are four letters placed in front of you and behind each letter is a letter slider that slides either left or right, depending on which direction the letter wants to move.
The goal is to slide all four letters so they spell out four words chosen by your opponent (you!).
There are six rounds per game and whoever spells out their chosen word first wins!
Activities that improve sleep
Some studies show that sleep deprivation can lead to emotional problems. This is because our bodies have a natural release of serotonin, or happy chemical, while we’re asleep.
If you don’t sleep enough, your serotonin levels can drop which leads to mood disorders like depression and anxiety.
Here are some fun games you can play before bedtime that will help improve your sleep.
1) Counting sheep- This game should be played with a partner so you can take turns counting the sheep as they jump over the fence into the meadow. The goal is not to count every single one but just enough until you get sleepy! I used to do this with my parents when I was little and it really helped put me to sleep.
2) Warm milk and honey- Mix up some warm milk with a spoonful of honey and drink it before going to bed. You’ll fall asleep faster thanks to the sweet taste in your mouth and because honey has calming properties.
3) Read an old favorite book- Reading stimulates parts of the brain responsible for empathy, imagination, creativity, learning abilities and more! Choose a book that takes you back in time–to when life was simpler–or something more lighthearted like Harry Potter or Twilight. These books might even inspire you in other aspects of your life too; who knows what might happen?
4) Listen to relaxing music- Playing soothing music at bedtime can reduce stress and make you more relaxed so you fall asleep quicker. Make sure the music isn’t loud enough to wake others up though! Play classical music on Pandora stations like Mozart, Vivaldi or Bach. Relaxing jazz albums by Louis Armstrong, Dave Brubeck and Billie Holiday are also good choices.
5) Have a tea party- Drinking herbal tea is another way to relax yourself before bedtime. Brew up chamomile tea in a mug then add honey if desired for sweetness! One cup should work wonders on your nerves as well as lower your blood pressure and heart rate. Add an extra teaspoon of ground lavender if desired for its soothing scent and effects on headaches.
Activities that promote relaxation
- A game of solitaire can be just the thing to help you take a break from your day, refresh your mind, and clear your thoughts.
- Keep a gratitude journal- fill out a page at the end of each day to write about what made you feel grateful that day. It can be as simple as saying I’m grateful that I had coffee this morning or it can be something more in depth like Today I was really grateful when my coworker helped me figure out how to do this new task. The point is just to remind yourself what’s going right with your life on a regular basis. One study found that people who keep a daily gratitude journal exercise more, have better sleep quality, and experience fewer physical symptoms than those who don’t keep a daily journal.
- Draw pictures- this activity works especially well if there are multiple people involved because not only does it allow participants to express themselves creatively but it also builds empathy between them by forcing them to work together. Try drawing pictures with words instead of describing words in order to promote creative thinking; then have other participants guess what you drew based off of clues given by you!
- Find 5 things around your home that make you happy- pick up five objects around your home (anything will work) and try to find one reason why they make you happy. You might notice that some items bring back fond memories while others just seem pleasant enough to put a smile on your face. Either way, making an inventory of what makes you happy is a great way to remind yourself of all the good things in your life. Plus, studies show that being mindful has significant benefits for reducing anxiety and improving mood!
- Listen to music- studies show that music helps improve mood so if you’re feeling down or stressed, listen to some tunes!
Activities that reduce anxiety
Playing a game on your phone that’s been scientifically proven to help with anxiety, like the Breathe app.
Listening to calming music.
Doing a relaxation exercise such as deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation.
Taking a walk outside, preferably in nature if you can manage it!
Meditating – this is an activity that can be done at home in front of a candle or alone in your room with nothing but some quiet music playing in the background!
Imagining yourself somewhere peaceful – take yourself on a mini-vacation through your mind by picturing a place that makes you feel relaxed and calm, such as the beach or being around animals.
Getting a hug from someone who really loves you! Hugs are not only good for relieving stress, they also make people feel safe and loved. If there are no hugs available to give (or if hugging isn’t really your thing), try getting pets involved instead–petting an animal has shown to reduce anxiety levels. There are lots of studies out there showing how important love is–just check out The Tapping Solution which talks about how tapping helps release feelings of anger and frustration through pressure on the face and head–that sounds very soothing indeed!