The opposite of play is…not work.
The opposite of play is depression, according to researcher Stuart Brown, MD. You can check out a two and a half minute summary of his Ted Talk Play is More Than Just Fun here below for some interesting insights
Here in the UK, from the 1960s onwards, a certain chocolate bar called Mars came with a clarion call alongside its TV advertising that proudly declared:
“A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play.” These days, many people are aware that you need a lot more than a bit of chocolate to get you through the day and provide a healthy, balanced diet.
What the advertisers did realise of course, is that those three words: work, rest and play resonate with everyone.
In case you don’t bother to watch the video above, one of Brown’s central points is that a life without play, or leisure, or fun, or laughter would indeed be extremely depressing wouldn’t it?
Many of the people I am privileged to work with have to fight tooth and nail for any scrap of leisure time they can get their hands on. As I’ve written before, I have even heard of accounts from some where their boss practically insisted on them taking their laptop with them when they finally got some time off with their family – ‘just in case we need you…’
Cal Newport goes even further in his book Deep Work when he claims science has now proved that if you do not allow your brain sufficient time to relax, down tools so to speak, and switch off from work on a daily basis, then your ability to perform at your best will be severely hampered.
In other words, if you don’t take time out to play, relax, have fun and laugh, then you will actually become worse at your job, not better!
If that goes on for too long, inevitably, you run out of steam, get sick or worse, and/or have a breakdown of some description or another.
So the next time you consider whether or not you can justify having some fun, some time to play, laugh and relax, ask yourself the question,
What’s the opposite of play?
Oh yes, depression…(not work)
And there’s already way too much of that in the world as it is!
If you have a cat or a dog, consider taking a leaf out of their book for once. We have two gorgeous tabbies and they often remind me to not feel guilty about relaxing…
Until next time, be blessed to be a blessing!