Making time for play
Being an anxious person, times of change cause me stress. Even positive changes, like returning to my job or getting married, increase my anxiety. As I prepared to return to work after a summer of working on healing my mental state, I began to experience symptoms of anxiety, (body aches, headaches, trouble sleeping, irritability, etc.) I wasn’t sure how to battle these feelings and their associated physical symptoms but frequently I felt like I needed a break.
While in Stratford with my fiancé one day, I looked into the window of a toy shop and saw a marble run kit.
When I was little I always wanted a marble run. My cousins had one and I love building the towers and then listening to the marbles clatter and swish through my creation. My parents never got me one, probably because I had toys enough toys for two or three children. However, in that moment, I suddenly wanted a marble run more than anything.
Well, I’m a grown-up. I have money. I can buy pretty much any toy I want, (very mature, I know). So I bought it and a bag of glass cat’s eye marbles. I ignored my fiancés’ puzzled look and packed my toy into the trunk of my car, feeling satisfied.
For the rest of August, every time I felt anxiety pressing down on me, I escaped to the cool dark of my basement and built my towers, just like when I was a kid.
Something about building up a structure, running the marbles through it, breaking it down and then building it up differently brings me a peace I can’t even explain.
My take home message here is that you should make time for play. It doesn’t matter what type of play, but make time, by yourself and with your family and friends. I didn’t outgrow my anxiety, although I’m working to control it. Why did I ever think I outgrew playing?