Ah, autumn. ‘Tis the season that makes me most nostalgic for the old days when I used to wear matching sweaters with my little sister and go pumpkin-picking with my family. As the weather starts to cool and the leaves grow colorful, I can’t help wishing there were a sliver of childhood I could still hold onto. As a mature and (mostly) responsible adult with a job and bills to pay, this fantasy of retreating to my youth seems more impossible than ever. But luckily, there are a few ways to rediscover the magic of childhood as a grown-up…
Make your workout fun
One of my favorite things to do after an early-morning run is head over to the local playground and swing on a swing set for a good five minutes. Local parks open early, but there are never any people around until long after I’m at work. So it’s safe to assume no one’s judging you for your little moment of nostalgia. Also, swinging burns serious calories. A number of playground activities — from riding a bike to hula-hooping to jumping rope — all count as exercise, even if you’re over the age of 10.
This was one of my favorite activities when rainy days forced me to stay indoors as a kid. It was stress-relieving back then, and I must say that it has the same effect now. I had a friend in college who kept a stash of coloring books she’d take out when she was feeling emotionally overwhelmed or anxious. Coloring is an easy way to relax and feel seven years old again…in a good way.
Eat like a kid
It’s the little things that count in life, right? And there’s something so fun about drinking out of juice boxes and eating Lunchables instead of adult food. But it doesn’t end there. I have an entire shelf in my pantry dedicated to fun foods that remind me of being a kid. And I’ll occasionally treat myself to a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal or a pack of Marshmallow Peeps for a sugary pick-me-up on a bad day.
Wear your favorite characters
It may be extremely dorky, but nothing makes me happier than covering all my nicks and cuts with Hello Kitty and Mickey Mouse Band-Aids. I also have quite a few superhero T-shirts and a Batman onesie pajamas. Don’t judge.
Have a kid-movie marathon
I grew up knowing every line and lyric in every Disney film, and I could still watch those movies a million times without getting bored. Watching kids’ movies as an adult is also fun because now you understand all the jokes that went over your head years ago. Bet you didn’t think cartoon movies could be so suggestive, huh? Oh, Disney.
Enjoy your little moments of childhood…