Back To Work: The Importance Of Play

Four office workers celebrating

Best office stress relief

Summer is such a wonderful time. The days are long. There are concerts at the park and neighborhood BBQs. The sound of laughter wafts through open windows. Life seems so open and free. We tend to let go of our winter workday seriousness, take advantage of our vacation days, and even as adults get out and play. As it comes to an end and Labor Day nears, we suddenly put back on our serious faces, shop for school supplies and new clothes, and immerse ourselves once more in what we believe to be proper grown up life. Gone is the spirit of fun. We once again hunker down at our desks, staring at our computer screens for too many hours, eating our sad, soggy bagged lunch.

As I have become more health conscious I’ve started to really wonder about this. Yes the weather starts to get colder and the days start to get shorter. But is that really a good reason to get so serious? I live in Southern California and it’s pretty much seventy-three degrees all year long and still, come September, it’s as if a cloud descends over us, darkening our faces, locking us up in our offices, not allowing us to just get out there and play. This takes a toll on our physical and emotional health. We eat too much. We stop exercising. Our skin loses its healthy glow. Due to lack of sunlight and proper nutrient intake from our unhealthy diet even our sun bleached hair will start showing a negative effect. Our mood becomes affected too.

Giving ourselves the time to play can be one of the most important gifts we give ourselves. As psychiatrist Dr Stuart Brown puts it: “The opposite of play is not work, it’s depression.”   I came across his book entitled “Play” a number of yeas ago. It has changed my life as well as the lives of the staff here at We make sure to include humor, games and fun in all our daily interactions.

So as we prepare to celebrate Labor Day and head in to our new year of work and school let’s all make a New Work Year Resolution. Let’s build PLAY into our lives.  Even our hair follicles will feel the difference.

Bluma Marcus

Bluma Marcus is the editor of She lives with her husband and five children in southern California.

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