The pandemic has robbed us of many things, not least the freedom to express joy unreservedly. Spontaneity and playfulness have been sorely missed.

When we behave spontaneously, we act without premeditation, purely for the fun of it – and we can only do that when we feel safe. When spontaneity is absent, imagination also suffers.

Spontaneity, along with pleasure, creativity, curiosity and a sense of humour, are the vital ingredients of playfulness, according to experts. Playful individuals are happier, more energetic, more self-confident, and more open-minded and original when asked to solve challenging problems.

What can you do to reintroduce spontaneity into your life?

Shake up your automatic habits

Most of us mindlessly repeat the same routines day in and day out. For example, before you mindlessly make that same breakfast, ask yourself if that’s really what you want right now. If something different comes to mind – eggs instead of cereal – give it a go.

Reorder your day

Introduce flexibility into your schedule. If you go for a run in the evening, try a morning workout.

Let others make some decisions

If you usually prepare meals, ask your partner to do so, or your children if they’re old enough.

Change some of your TV/film/book choices

Call up a list of films, current best-selling books, or today’s TV schedule on your screen. Close your eyes and point your finger at the screen. That will be your choice of entertainment.

Dance

Put on your favourite music, and dance. There’s no better way to engender spontaneity of movement.

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