Summertime Stress Busters – Play it up!

Stress Busters - Play it up

My summertime days were always spent soaking up the sun.  We lived in Northeast Pennsylvania and right in my back yard was my summertime vacation spot…we had an inground pool.  Whether friends came over and the music was blaring, or I was basking in the warm sun’s rays, the pool meant relaxing.  I could sit in the heat of the sun for 30 minutes before needing to dive in to cool off.  It was just paradise…to a 14 year old.

Summertime gave me permission to kick back, not work so hard, not have to answer to so many people.  It was my time to refresh, enjoy friends, fill up on watermelon, and have fun.   Not having to be “on” all the time meant I could do whatever came up, whenever it came up.  A bit more freedom to come and go, without the stress of a schedule.  Don’t we all wish we had a season of that?

Just because I don’t have a summer break now, as I’m older, doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy some of the same activities that refreshed me in the past.  It’s important that we give ourselves permission to kick back and enjoy playing again.  Do you play as an adult?  Do you laugh with friends, blast the music and sign real loud, dance around the room when no one is home?  Playing is one of the ways God allows for us to recalibrate.  Playing allows us to let go of the grown up stuff and remember the freedoms of days gone by.

If I had a day to play…or recalibrate (in adult terms) I’m not sure what I would do.  I know I would be tempted to multitask and convince myself that “while I play, I can also do XYZ”.  That’s not what I did as a child though…when it was time to play, I didn’t give a second thought to the things I was suppose to get done.  Why can’t it be that way now?  Oh the days when I knew how to play….

The Message reads Ecclesiastes 3: 15 like this…

“So, I’m all for just going ahead and having a good time—the best possible. The only 

earthly good men and women can look forward to is to eat and drink well and have a 

good time—compensation for the struggle for survival these few years God gives us on 

earth.”

God wants us to play, to have a good time, to enjoy some down time.  He knows that rest is the only thing that can fill us…He even modeled it by taking a day off at the end of the week when Creation was completed.  I even tend to think we have an innate need to rest when life becomes overwhelming.

This summer, choose to have fun.  Remember to play: Make mud pies, have a food fight, dance in the rain, jump puddles, spray someone with the hose, eat a fudge pop on a hot sunny day, whack a loved one with a pool noodle…Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that there is a season for everything…a time to laugh and a time to dance!

~Dayna

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