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Column: Learn a thing or two from your inner child

by Alexandra Weaver - Lifestyles Editor
Tue, Oct 24th 2017 11:00 am
Photo courtesy of Shaw Airforce Base
Halloween is a great time of year to remember what it was like to be a kid. For most, those times were simpler and happier. Adopting the same attitude you had as a child as an adult can help you when `adulting` gets to be too much.
Photo courtesy of Shaw Airforce Base Halloween is a great time of year to remember what it was like to be a kid. For most, those times were simpler and happier. Adopting the same attitude you had as a child as an adult can help you when "adulting" gets to be too much.

Growing up is not easy. It means more responsibilities, less free time and terrible things like paying taxes. With all of the responsibilities and set routines, it’s easy to take things too seriously when you’re an adult, and that can make it really easy to get stuck in a rut. Sometimes the best thing to do to help break out of that rut is to allow yourself to be a kid again. Kids are spontaneous, imaginative and fairly easy to please. Adopting a more child-like mindset can act as an effective form of self-care. 

An article from The Creativity Post by KH Kim has a lot of suggestions to help embrace spontaneity. One piece of advice is to try not to over-schedule yourself. Parents often talk about not over-scheduling their kids so that they have time to “just be kids.” As important as this is for children, it can be important for adults too. Having too much on your plate can become very hectic very quickly and leave you with no room to just be. 

Kim also suggests finding new ways to do things, like using a different route to get to work, finding people who will do spontaneous things with you and following your heart when trying to make decisions. Kids have this same mindset. They don’t have plans for play dates or recess, they just decide how they want to have fun. 

Spontaneity is one of the best ways to break out of a boring routine, because it gives you a bit of a refrain in the cycle of waking up, going to school, going to work and then going back to sleep to start the process all over again. Even a small change from your daily cycle can make a big difference. 

Playing games can also help recharge you, and according to helpguide.org, it can relieve stress, make you feel more energetic and help you bond with others, even as an adult. Play video games, soccer or whatever else it is that you like. Try to be low-maintenance about it. Kids can play or have fun with almost anything. 

Don’t be afraid to do childish things every now and then. As much as people like to make fun of others who have adult coloring books, there are real benefits. Dr. Nikki Martinez, a psychologist, wrote an article for Huffpost where she details the benefits of coloring. Not only does she “prescribe” coloring for her patients, but so did psychologist Carl Jung. Coloring is a great stress reliever and it calms the amygdala, which is the part of the brain that controls your “fight-or-flight” response. The “fight-or-flight” response is common in people with anxiety and other mental illnesses. 

Remember not to take yourself, or life, too seriously. It’s okay to have a sense of humor and enjoy things. More importantly, it’s okay to make fun of yourself. Unless something is important, there’s no need to worry about it. Try to keep the positive attitude you had as a child instead of worrying about everything. Learn how to leave the seriousness behind when you finish a task for work or school and celebrate with some fun. 

As tempting as it can be to have that reward be alcohol while you’re in college, it’s important to enjoy some innocent entertainment as well. Buying booze all the time can become expensive, and drinking too regularly just isn’t a good idea. Find something else to use as a reward, like the aforementioned activities. A lot of them provide the same benefits of alcohol, like bonding and stress relief, without the more negative effects like hangovers. Drinking is also best done on the weekend. Finding other fun activities gives you a way to reward your hard work during the week so you can actually wake up for your 8 a.m. class the next morning. 

Halloween is the perfect time to let your inner child loose. Since Halloween is on a Tuesday this year, celebrate it by watching horror movies, eating candy and dressing up. Go to a corn maze or a haunted hayride for some fun that won’t leave you hungover and ultimately regretting your life choices on Wednesday morning. 

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