I don’t know about you, but when I was a child, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to work (ha!) or have a car which I could jump in whenever I wanted (I imagined intense 3am drives where I stared moodily out at the road with some indie band playing in the background). But now, at 25 years of age, my thinking is a little different. I still enjoy all the ‘perks’ of adulthood such as eating cake for dinner and being able to go to bed when I please (10pm, admittedly…) but there will always be that longing for childhood.
But it may not be for the reasons you might think. I don’t crave being looked after by and reliant on my parents or even not having to pay any bills. What I actually miss is the very essence of being a child. Because when you are small, the world is your oyster. You are bursting with energy, determination and well, life. It got me thinking that we can actually learn a lot from our former tiny selves, things that would benefit us all a hell of a lot as adults. So after much reminiscing, I give you 5 ways to release your inner child.
Admittedly why not always a good trait, toddlers take what they what, whether that be the last slice of cake or that toy they simply must have from their sister. While I’m not suggesting that you walk away with those shoes from Topshop you’ve been eyeing up without paying, what I am talking about is the sheer determination that toddlers possess in getting what they want. So next time you’re at work and you want to lead that project or take on extra responsibilities, ask for it. Or if you’ve always really wanted to work with a brand on your blog, email them. This is something I’m trying to get better at especially as far too often I’ve missed out on opportunities that I know could have been mine should I only have had the balls to just open my mouth.
When a child is upset, you will bloody well know about it! As an adult, for some reason, we tend to internalise our emotions, whatever they may be. We feel that we must squash whatever we are going through, especially negative feelings such as sadness or jealousy. Whether this is just a way to help us get through the day or simply because we are scared of others reactions, it’s not particularly healthy. Allow yourself to be honest with what you are experiencing. If you are frustrated or need to cry, let it out in whatever way you are able to. Not only will it make you feel a bit better but it will let others know the headspace you are in and to treat you with the kindness you need and deserve.
Being called childish tends to be used as an insult but believe it or not, there are actually also positives to this. Children will skip, dance, build dens and go on adventures. They are playful and carefree and being an adult doesn’t mean that you can’t be too. Sure, you can go for a scenic stroll or out to brunch and you’ll feel perfectly happy but there is an incredible joy in being childlike and staying in your pjs all day when it’s raining, building a pillow fort and eating so much chocolate you feel sick. Adulting is no doubt a serious business but there is nothing to say that you can’t have fun along the way too. There is absolutely nothing wrong with allowing yourself the time and space to have a bit of good old-fashioned fun.
I’ve mentioned this before on Musings & More but your internal dialogue (or external if you make a habit of talking to yourself aloud) can actually make a real difference to how you think and feel. I can pretty much guarantee that on the occasion you talk to a child, you talk with kindness. You offer encouragement when they get frustrated, you comfort them when they are upset and you reassure them if they make a mistake. Now think about the type of thoughts you have when you experience these things yourself. If you’re anything like me, you will instantly berate yourself when something goes wrong. But you have literally nothing to gain in talking to yourself so harshly and your brain is going to believe what you are telling it. By simply making changes to the way in which you respond to yourself in difficult situations, you are paving the way to improve your self-confidence and self-worth. So next time something goes wrong or you make a mistake, stop for a moment and imagine you are talking to the 4-year-old you. And be kind.
I’m sure any parents reading my blog can relate to the hundreds of ‘But why?‘s that they get daily from their children. While I’m aware it can be annoying, they are simply trying to make sense of the world around them and understand the unknown. I think we could all do with a bit of that eh? So let your mind wander wherever it sees fit, from the incredibly dull to the questionably obscure. As they say, after all, knowledge is power.
If you liked this post, why not read: Why we should all step out of our comfort zone.