Everybody Needs a Play Break

By Jonathan Davis, Health Alliance

In mid-March, so many things changed. Life as we knew it would be different moving forward. Instead of telling you about how I began watching the news every night, or how the world’s current count would rise every morning, or recapping how I tried to become an expert on all things transmittable, only to find out what I learned an hour ago had no bearing on what was stated in the last 30 seconds, I would rather write about something that has surprised me during this time period. My eight-year-old son and his adaptability.

Due to events in March, I now work from home. Right away, my son helped me settle in. He would bring me water and coffee. He would deliver messages from my wife. He would ask me how work was going. He would update me on his latest Lego project. Never staying too long, knowing I had to work. I knew all this was just an excuse to come visit me in my guest bedroom/converted office. Always knocking before entering the room and always saying, “I’ll see you soon” as he left. He was going to take full advantage of having me at home.

After about a week, the “new normal” was starting to get to me. My job had changed; my social, spiritual; and physical schedule had changed. Realizing how I was feeling, I spoke with my family. Both my wife and son said they were doing fine. Later that day though, my eight-year-old stops by for one of his normal visits. He knocks softly on the office door then enters. With a mischievous smile, he says, “Dad I have a plan.” He spends the next few minutes explaining that we need to take play breaks every day. It would keep us happy and besides, it will be fun. Play breaks, so simple yet so effective.

Now, when I hit a wall at work or my stress level gets a bit high, I know it’s time for a play break. Fifteen or twenty minutes with my family and Legos, a puzzle, or a simple conversation goes along way. That brings me to my point of all this. We all had to figure out how to adapt to our new normal. If an eight-year-old little boy can figure out ways to do this, so could anyone else. A phone call to a friend, a walk around the block, a jigsaw puzzle or Legos, you decide what the best play break for you should be and add it to your new normal. If we can become as adaptable as a young child, no matter how many things change, we will always have something to help get us through.

Remember, Health Alliance™ is here for you when you need us. If you are a Health Alliance member or you are serving a Health Alliance member, you have access to a care coordinator or health coach to help you navigate things in your life.

Jonathan Davis is a community and broker liaison at Health Alliance. He’s a husband and father living in central Illinois. Like this article? Feel free to respond to [email protected]. Thanks for reading!

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