Skip to content

Seriously Expats – it’s playtime!

As expats we sometimes get pretty serious about things. Because lets face it, a big move is a serious decision. Is it going to be worth it for me and the people I care about? How are we going to do this? Plus that checklist of serious grown up stuff to get actioned before you can even get going. Let today be the day when you put all that aside for a moment.

When was the last time you allowed yourself playtime? A big move is an adventure is so many ways, so why not allow the childlike curiosity come out and lead some of they way into that adventure?

The other evening I was at my friends house for dinner. We’d both had a long day at work and were pretty exhausted, but rather than getting into serious talk (there is a time and a place for that too, I know!) we started some very random and fun conversations that generated so much laughter and lightness. Exactly what we both needed and I only realised it later on as I was heading to bed that evening, how much fun it was to be silly and allow playtime.

Five key reasons that playtime is important for all expats (regardless of their age):

  1. It helps break a negative thinking/feeling state. Try it – if you’re feeling low, sad or angry you can instantly change it by introducing something playful. If you really struggle to get started to relax and play just bring out a board game or something similar to get the brain distracted and have fun by focusing on something totally different.
  2. It’s an anchor of simplicity. Hopping on a swing at the playground, jumping on a trampoline or whatever it might be is a direct channel to your inner child. All of us have a child inside, let it come out and help make the move more fun.
  3. Life is never more serious than you make it. Honestly – to take yourself lightly as an adult is a skill that few master. It’s also one of the most resourceful ways to get your need for variety met.
  4. Seriousness is based on your old, existing filters. And if you focus too much on these old things you’ll run the risk of missing heaps of new stuff! Isn’t the whole point of going to a new place to have fun, grow and get to know some new cool people and places?
  5.  It helps you park the need for control and certainty, if even for a short while. One of the most common things for expats is that we have this desperate need to know whats going to happen next (you can read more about the need for certainty and control in this previous post). When we allow ourselves to play, all that goes out the window and lets us breathe for a while.

Possibly the most powerful thing about playtime is that it lives in a completely different part of the brain to feeling stressed. It’s pretty much impossible to play and be stressed at the same time. If you know you have tendencies to strive for control, and run a bit of a stress pattern related to this, it’s vital that you allow yourself to go out and have fun, especially in times of change!

PS: In our new Relocation Starter Kit online program we cover this and lots more to set you up for a good AND fun move.