“The opposite of play is not work – the opposite of play is depression.” Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute of Play

Let’s face it, many of us are over-worked, over-committed, and over-stressed adults, raising children that are over scheduled.

“We must become intentional about cultivating sleep and play, and about letting go of exhaustion as a status symbol and productivity as self-worth.” Brene Brown, PhD, LMSW

I see this so much in my work as a coach.  Sleep deprivation has become a badge of honor. When I suggest play and rest, often clients look at me like I am crazy. “That’s not what I hired you for!” And yet, rest & play can re-ignite a stalled career, create expansiveness, and in the end make you more productive. Basically, work does not work without play.

Letting go of exhaustion and productivity can be very scary. What if busy and exhausted is what it takes to be successful? What if I miss an opportunity? What if I don’t get promoted? What if my kids don’t get into their college of choice?

I am not going to say this is easy for me to always do. I get caught up in the productivity trap from time to time. I love what I do, and I am vulnerable at times of using it to avoid things I don’t want to address. Hmmm… dishes, laundry or blog post? The thing is,  I know how to take care of myself physically and emotionally and I make it a priority. I am worthy of eating well, exercising and getting rest. Those things are more important to me than achieving or gaining the approval of others.

After reading Brene Brown’s work and the work of Dr. Stuart Brown I have a new commitment for 2013 ,and it is to introduce play into my life. I am convinced that if I have more play in my life and on my calendar it will make me a better coach to my clients, a better mother to my children and a more enjoyable partner and friend.

TurningPoint Challenge:

Make a “joy and meaning” list. Sit down and make a list of the specific conditions that are in place when everything feels good in your life. You can do this in your relationship or your family too. Compare the list with your daily “to-do” list. Better yet, take something off the “to-do” list and take a nap instead.

Less Work. More Life.