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Did it ever occur to you that Mary Poppins was, in fact, right? 

 

As a child growing up, this was my absolute most favourite movie. I wished with all my might, eyes glued shut and hands clasped tight, Mary Poppins would float down from the sky. I wanted her so bad to come and snap her fingers in my room, so everything would be neat and tidy (I also wanted to dance with the penguins, I practiced for that too but that’s a different story).
In every job that must be done
There is an element of fun
You find the fun and SNAP!
The job’s a game
 
And every task you undertake
Becomes a piece of cake
Joyce De Bakker - Spoonful of Sugar
 
There are so many things we ‘have to’ do every day, every week, it’s very easy to get disheartened, distracted or procrastinate by any means possible (cat videos anyone?). 
 
Allowing an element of fun into your day-to-day list will help you get the job done quicker.
 
I should know, because I am the ox in the plough once I get going. Nose to the grindstone and there’s no room for straying, stopping, taking a break or even the sheer thought of a playful moment. I even hold off on toilet breaks because I ‘just need to finish the damn thing’. 
 
That’s me at my worst. This behaviour makes me CRANKY.
 
It’s been scientifically proven that bringing in elements of creativity and play into your day reduces stress and overwhelm (even when you completely suck at it). It brings down cortisol levels and releases large quantities of dopamine & serotonin, the feel-good hormone. Who doesn’t like to feel all loved up and happy?!? Hell, you might even live longer according to this article.
 
I know people who add in a 3 pm dance break or who take out 15 – 20 mins and get out the crayons. Even the colour by numbers books are an amazing way to de-stress and release the tension (these are especially good for perfectionist and those among us who are scared of messing up a pristine piece of paper. I see you!). 
 
I personally have glittery pens and markers I love to draw flowers with and I have added an amazing amount of playful items around my desk to remind me to take that break.
 
Joyce De Bakker - Creativity corner
 
There’s another positive aspect to stepping away from the task at hand, especially when you are feeling stuck. While stepping away might seem counter-intuitive, it actually allows for everything to rest and breathe. By giving your brain the chance to unwind and engaging the other parts of it, I have found that ideas tend to come out of nowhere.
 
What I am sharing here is not new, nor is it rocket science. A little reminder doesn’t hurt, though, to connect with the child within. Remembering what we did for fun as kids can only help us in the long run. What is that saying again? All work and no play…
 
If you already got the crayons out, good for you! For those of you still reading, go one… get those markers out. Take a break, draw stick figures for all I care or dance to your favourite tune. I promise you, this works! 
 
What are your favourite ways to de-stress and get your creative juices flowing?