You probably haven’t, but you should, because it makes it a helluva lot more enjoyable.
The Color Run presented by paint company Dulux is taking place this Sunday and involves just that. “Imagine it as a great big summer snowball fight of colour,” event director Joe Rafferty tells us. Billed as “the happiest 5k on the planet”, with Zumba warm-ups, the aforementioned coloured powder thrown at you every kilometre, and a big party at the finish line, it made us wonder how we could be happier simply by acting like big kids every now and again.
When we were kids, we loved nothing more than climbing a big tree, just to sit and be. We doubt we were contemplating anything more profound than whether we wanted fish fingers or chicken nuggets for tea, but there’s something about the exhilaration of climbing coupled with the quiet of sitting on-high that clears your mind.
Burnout expert and life coach for the NHS Online Health Sector, Jayne Morris explains: “When you’re having trouble solving a problem, just a few moments engaging in your instinctive state of play is enough to occupy your conscious mind and free up the innovative thoughts of your unconscious, which is your creative genius within.”
Play here: The Great Big Tree Climbing Company regularly hold tree climbs, zip wire rides and ‘leaps of faith’ in parks and National Trust sites. The next one is taking place on July 20 at Alexandra Park.
Trampolines, pogo sticks, bouncy castles, the bed … give us something springy and mini TNT would jump on it. Aside from being great fun, it’s also great exercise and a stress-reliever. “Playing helps us to overcome the cumulative overload of stress hormones on our bodies because it gives us a physical way to process them,” Morris says.
Play here: Strap on some Kangoo Jumps (shoes with bouncy bits attached to the soles) and bounce your way around the gym at Gymbox in Westfield every Saturday (3pm) and Wednesday (7.45pm).
Don’t give a shit
As a youngster, no matter where you were, if you heard a song you loved you would dance like a crazed baboon and sing at the top of your voice. Wouldn’t the world be a better (if noisier) place if we still did that as adults?
“Children don’t judge the performances of others until we teach them to – they just enjoy themselves,” says Judith Marples, life coach and director at JMH Aspirations. As for what others might think? “Let them think. After all you are the one having fun, releasing all your tension and having a better day.”
Play here: Dance to your own tune, quite literally, at the silent disco at London Zoo Lates, every Friday until August 2.
Throw a tantrum
“Children find an outlet for their frustrations by throwing a tantrum, then a few minutes later they get over their grumble and calm down again,” Morris points out. Yep, there’s something undeniably therapeutic about letting it all out. “Raaaaa!” Ah, that’s better.
Play here: Every April a mass pillow fight is held in Trafalgar Square. Prepare yourselves to eat our feathers.
Photos: Getty & supplied