Sunshine Playdates

Four Steps to a Less Frazzled Mind

Playing with Sidewalk Chalk

“Sit, Momma,” he said, as his tiny toddler hand patted the ground beside him. “Sit.”

The week was growing more stressful by the minute and deadlines were fast approaching. I had grown impatient, and my frustration level was high. However, at 4 o’clock on this weekday afternoon, I found myself stuck outside in the warmth of the sun with the cool breeze blowing by, instead of inside productively tackling my to-do list. Counterintuitively, though, I obeyed my toddler’s request and sat down.

For 20 minutes, I simply sat and drew childish art with my son. No expectations. No deadlines. No stress. I needed a mental break from the waves of responsibility that were overtaking me and it came in the form of an impromptu play date with my toddler and his sidewalk chalk.

That 20 minutes gave me permission to stop producing and instead give myself the moment I needed to rest and mentally regroup. I now call moments like this “sunshine playdates” and God has used them over and over again to remind me to take a moment simply to breathe because everything is going to be alright.

If you have found yourself frazzled and harried, overwhelmed by life’s expectations, then maybe you could use a little sunshine playdate of your own.

4 Steps to Find Some Quiet When the World is Loud

  1. Stop
  2. When it seems our to-do list isn’t getting any shorter despite our best efforts, it is easy for us to get overwhelmed and give less than our best because our energy and emotions are simply depleted. Give yourself permission to stop spinning your wheels and to take a break.

  3. Sit
  4. Something about sitting down, away from our desk or general workspace, is relaxing all by itself. It may be outside on a porch swing, on a blanket under a tree or in your favorite cozy chair. Plop yourself down wherever you desire, close your eyes and take five slow, deep breaths. Exhale in a way that lets your shoulders relax and the tension escape.

  5. Play
  6. The great thing about playing is that it can be flavored whatever way you desire. Eat an ice cream cone. Take a walk. Lay down and listen to music. Color in an adult coloring book. Play a game of whiffle ball with your kids. Whatever speaks “freedom” and “recreation” to you, do that guilt-free for 15-20 minutes.

  7. Resume
  8. Once your mind and body are relaxed, and the overwhelming emotions are no longer lingering around, head back to your responsibilities and finish them well.

We tend to believe the lie that we must constantly be at work to produce more. But that’s simply not true. Taking the time to tend to your mental, physical and spiritual self through intentional self-care are vital in keeping yourself capable of achieving quality results over the long haul.

Sunshine playdates are one simple way to give yourself permission to take a break.

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2 thoughts on “Sunshine Playdates

  1. So nice to have discovered your blog! I love the idea of “sunshine playdates”–what a wonderful descriptor for that essential focused time of quiet. I have three kids and have struggled to find these windows of time in the noise of a day. In my experience, they most often happen with we all get out of the house. There’s something about being outdoors in green space that helps my kids settle and allows my mind to rest.

    • Amen! There is something calming about stepping outside those “four walls” and being more at peace. I am so thankful this encouraged you! Please stop back by and tell me about some of your favorite “sunshine playdate” moments.