Kids used to play a lot more than they do today. I think the same is true of adults.
Remember how it was so common, as to be a cliche´, that every dad was part of a bowling league and an Elks or Moose (or some-excuse-for-drinking-with-friends) Club?
On my last big sabbatical, I read the book Play It Away, which suggests that a return to play is exactly what we need to relieve anxiety, no matter what your age. It’s also what we need to build stronger communities.
The books The Coddling of the American Mind and Antifragile would agree.
Here’s one of the authors of The Coddling of the American Mind, Dr. Jonathan Haidt, giving a talk on why anxiety has skyrocketed in young people and how reintroducing play, among other things, is the solution:
First, define what is play for you. Sports? Entertainment? Hanging out with friends? Come up with a long list.
Then, schedule it. It’s as important as anything else you’d schedule.