Embrace your inner child has become a bit of a wellbeing solution recently, but for good reason! Laura Jane Williams wrote a fantastic book about it called Ice Cream for Breakfast and Jody Shield references connecting to our inner child often in her game changing book Life Tonic.
Did you just eye roll at me? I hope you didn’t because learning to embrace your inner child could be a game changer. It was for me.
When I was younger I called myself Ova, my parents still think this is hilarious to this day and I have no idea why. I used to love to sing (badly) and dance, and perform shows and read ALL THE TIME (that hasn’t changed). I wasn’t embarrassed to ask questions, admit things I didn’t know and follow my curiosity about anything and everything. We had my mum’s old Encyclopaedia Britannica’s and I’d spend hours looking things up and writing notes so I could know more just because.
Somewhere along the line I lost this sense of playfulness.
I got really serious. In the last few years, I ended up depressed and there seemed no fun in anything. I’m not going to propose embracing your inner child as some miracle cure; but for me it has been a helpful antidote to the seriousness and project management of trying to manage my depression, anxiety and sobriety.
Drinking replaced the fun childlike stuff I used to do, it became my hobby – I drank before I went dancing and with friends to socialise. I connected with people over a drink (I think plenty of us do that) and I felt like I needed a drink to dance. I’d forgotten that I used to dance for no reason, I used to get on a stage for fun and I used to do things just because.
Lost in the noise of self help, and wellness, and productivity; I had forgotten how to do things just because. And then I read Laura’s book, and Jody’s and started embracing doing things because I wanted too. Little things, and big things. Just because.
If you’re reading this and thinking you have no idea how to embrace your inner child and you’re still not quite sure what I’m talking about – that’s ok! It takes a bit of time to get back to feeling childlike, to embrace the feeling of not really caring what others think of us and doing things for the fun of it!
5 Ways to Embrace Your Inner Child
- Put some music on loud and dance around like a loon
It’s fun I promise! Whack on some of your favourite cheesy tunes, and sing and dance around your house/bedroom/shower. Allow yourself to be free for a few moments. I love doing this at the beginning of the day (more fun self care ideas like this in this post)!
- Revisit your childhood
What did you love to do when you were a kid? Revisit this and spend some time remembering things you loved doing when you were little. Happy memories or your favourite childhood food. I loved colouring in as a little kid and I’ve recently begun colouring again after Find Me A Gift sent me a lovely colouring book – I love it and I can lose hours colouring in, without feeling the need to check my phone! Revisit and feel your childlike self coming back to you.
- Explore your curiosity
When were you last curious to know more about something? Next time your mind wanders, allow it too. Allow yourself to google the fact that’s caught your attention on the news, go down a Wikipedia rabbit hole or order a book on something totally random that’s piqued your interest. I recently did this with Sapiens, a book that’s not my usual bag but I am finding it fascinating!
- Remember your dreams and let your imagination run wild
What did you want to be when you were a kid? Where did you want to go? As children we have very few limitations, as we become adults we put a lot of limits on ourselves. Money, time, responsibility gets in the way of the things we used to dream of doing. They don’t have to be big dreams, just your dreams. Allow yourself 5 minutes to allow your imagination to run wild and imagine your dreams coming true.
- Make every day an occasion
Perhaps my favourite part of Laura’s book Ice-Cream was the section on making every day an occasion, again just because. So Tuesday can become nice lipstick day, Friday’s can be treat myself to a coffee day, swimming on a Saturday can be Swim Saturday’s. Making days – or things – occasions can bring some of the joy back to life. And help us (me) to find the joy in the everyday.
How do you embrace your inner child? I’d love to hear more ways to get back to my childlike state!