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Childish Things To Improve Mental Health

I ran a little giveaway on my blog a few years ago, for some beautiful adult colouring books. The response was really fantastic and there was so much interest in them. Plus it uncovered a common theme, which ran throughout most of the comments I received. Namely, how everyone really enjoyed colouring in but hadn’t done it for years. How it was lovely to do things to improve mental health. 

One comment in particular really resonated with me and got me thinking.

My reader, Natalia, said;

‘I was thinking of colouring as of something that kids would do but who cares what age we are? If we enjoy it, we should do it more often!’

And it made me think. When is it we stop doing childish things in favour of being more ‘adult’?

And why?

Putting Away Childish Things

Why do we stop doing lovely, simple, enjoyable things?

Perhaps if more adults took up childish pastimes — building Lego, colouring in, playing board-games, making pom-poms — ‘adulting’ might be a little easier’; the world might be a gentler, nicer place.

It made me think of a passage I’d once heard.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

I don’t really like the sentiment behind this prose; I think it’s incredibly sad that once you’re an adult, you should stop doing the things you once enjoyed as a child.

How to be mentally healthy and happy

There are so many lovely pastimes that are deemed to be too ‘childish’ for adults to partake in aren’t there? But perhaps if we stopped rushing around for a little while, and took pleasure in the small things, our lives would be a lot happier and calmer as a result.

You rarely see stressed children (thankfully). Or come across little ones with depression or stress related stomach ulcers. The only time any of the children I know very well are mildly stressed, is if they have lots of homework to do or if they’ve fallen out with a friend.

They don’t stress about how to be mentally healthy and happy; they just are. Mostly, they bowl along, from day to day, just enjoying life; playing, laughing and learning.

We could definitely take a leaf out of their book.

Maybe take a moment when we’re feeling particularly bogged down with adulthood and engage in something a little more fun.

Here is my top 5 Favourite Childish Things To Improve Mental Health

  1. Grab a colouring book and some crayons and sit for half an hour, colouring in. It doesn’t matter if you go over the lines either. Chill out and just enjoy it. 
  2. Play a board game. Connect 4, Downfall and Guess Who are STILL firm favourites in our house. Love them.Particularly matching the ‘Guess Who’ characters to real life people from the telly. The original 1980s version is better than the updated version for this. 
  3. Watch a Disney film.(NB — Bambi and Dumbo are real tear-jerkers so possibly avoid these when trying to cheer yourself up.) 
  4. Kick a big pile of crunchy autumn leaves.OK — this one is season dependent but I absolutely love it and mentioned it in my list of 50 favourite things. It’s a brilliant stress buster and makes you feel immediately happy. 
  5. Pop on some loud music and have a kitchen disco. Who doesn’t love a bit of spontaneous dancing?Every child I know loves nothing more than dancing wildly to music. They look ridiculous half the time but who cares? They certainly don’t.

This is a valuable lesson that we should take from our littles.

Put away your inhibitions. Put away your ‘adultish things’ and start thinking like a child once more.

Lose those stuffy old adult ties and immerse yourself in something fun for a little while. 

Childish Things To Improve Mental Health
Guess Who’s ‘Bernard’ — a dead ringer for Rowan Atkinson?

77 thoughts on “Childish Things To Improve Mental Health”

  1. I refuse to grow up!
    Luckily i work in schools and often nurseries so I can enjoy kiddy activities all the time (P.s make some playdough!! very soothing to play with)

  2. As a 33 year old, I wholeheartedly agree. If we only did grown up things, then life would be very VERY boring!any of my friends have fallen out of love with drinkin and dancing at (the right) clubs… We need to do what makes us happy, and that is one of the things I hope I never outgrow! (I don’t care what the real teenagers think). I had an incredibly hard and stressful childhood, it wasn’t right but I managed just fine at the time. I indulge the child in me by baking when I feel like it, just for the fun of the process.

    I can’t do colouring, then idea of a whole book scares me silly! What colour would in use where? So many questions! But when the boys colour or paint, I always lead by example. There is a joy to simply staying in the lines and using whatever colour is handiest. I must add, I am not arty, not in the slightest!

    Hope to read more of your blog :)

    • Aaah I totally agree — life would be SO boring!! I think indulging your inner child — with simple things that make us happy — is so important. ‘I wish I’d worked harder and laughed less’ said no-one ever — on their deathbed! ;)

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