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You are how you play & you play how you are...by Justine Longford


With the ever increasing need to use social media, the world has become obsessed with lifestyle.


We see how others do life, often with an enviable pang of ‘eugh their life looks so much better than mine’. You know the ones I mean; kale eating, yoga, high-flying career, 2.4 children, incredibly cute pets, exclusive holidays, whatever it is, it seems we’re keen to define a lifestyle that will make us visually appear happier.


During my time being furloughed, I too got sucked into the role of social media stalker, seeing how old school friends had become pilots, top barristers, meaningful scientists, furniture designers etc. and for a moment sunk quite low but then realised hang on, I have a great life.


I believe I have a ‘playful living’ lifestyle!!!


Play is the heartbeat of our home. This doesn’t mean piles of ‘stuff’, instead I mean how as individuals we (myself and my partner) approach life and how we have connected on a journey together.


This ‘playful living’ philosophy has helped me design the interior of my home, where I have, through being creative, created a home that we love. Living playfully has also helped me cope with work – as it requires me to continually think differently, innovate and motivate myself and, I believe, the people around me.


To me, play simply is an extension of one’s self. It is an expression of your personality, your emotions, your identity, your hopes, dreams and fears.


I believe, you are how you play, and you play how you are.


Below are some of the key values of play, I choose to drive through my life.

FUN

An authentic play experience has no other purpose beyond pleasure and enjoyment.

INTUITION

You don’t need instructions to play and a thousand things can happen in the space of minutes. No one is taught how to play, there is no right or wrong to do it. Having open ended experiences where you can safely lean into intuition is really important.

CURIOSITY

A curious mind is a beautiful thing and I have really never stopped asking questions – to everyone, myself, experts, friends. Never stop asking questions, they lead to positively playful experiences.

OPENNESS

When we are experiencing flow it means we completely lose a sense of time and are in the moment. This leads to greater impact on well-being as is an incredible quality and amazing for the mind and sense of self.

COMMUNICATION

Play is a universal language – this is why I love to run our creative sessions in the communities. Social skills naturally occur in play.

The benefits of play are endless, but it’s getting into that play state that make them come alive, the more you lean into and connect with these values yourself, the more you’ll reap the rich rewards playful living has to offer.

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Totally agree Justine. People seem obsessed by what they haven't got rather than relishing in what they do have. I grew up as an only child and because my home was not close to my school my only contact with peers was at school. I found my friends were in the characters I read about in books. When my parents moved to Oxford I found it very difficult to fit in as we lived in an area where we played in the street with people I had been with at school all day. Today this translates to talking with friends on the phone, tablet etc. even though they had been with then ten minutes previously. I only hope that these…

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