The Inner Child has been a theme in my life the last few weeks, I watched a class about healing the inner child, participated in a couple evenings of play with my fellow sisters, playing games and connecting to our inner little girl.
What is an Inner Child?
Not everyone is in touch with their inner child. Often, when people connect with their inner child, it’s because they’re dealing with a problem rooted in an early wounding. Even if your inner child is healthy and happy, there is a part of you that feels and reacts to life the way a child does. Everyone experiences this. The challenge is to know, accept, and connect with that part of your personality. According to the Cambridge Dictionary, “Your inner child is the part of your personality that still reacts and feels like a child.”
As we get older we sometimes forget about our little girl and grow up losing our sense of wonder, imagination and need for play. Nurturing and caring for our inner child is super important to our well-being. Having fun helps us to stay energized, inspired and creative, it’s so much fun to play!
The joys of childhood are still in reach, though. Inside all of us is an inner child from many years ago, and that nostalgic feeling you get might be your inner child wanting to be let out. I think that channeling this inner child is a really important part of self-care. It helps you let go of modern-day anxieties, and remind yourself what it’s like to be young and carefree.
Here are some things to do that can help relieve stress and improve your happiness when you need an escape.
1. Read something, just for fun.
Find a book that you genuinely want to read and lose yourself to fiction like a little kid in a library. The best part about reading for fun is it can be anything you want, reminding yourself how great literature can be and the satisfaction of finishing a book you loved is a great feeling.
2. Watch a favorite childhood movie.
In today’s world of streaming, it’s so easy to find all the movies you used to watch as a child. I love watching The Wizard of Oz and Disney movies that I grew up with. Pop some popcorn and enjoy!
3. Spend some time outside, just because.
Isn’t it wild how much we were outside when we were little, no matter the weather? I have so many memories of playing in the rain, getting burnt in the sun, and sledding in the snow.
4. Put on a nostalgic playlist.
Another great thing about today’s internet is how we can listen to any music we want. I love the way music can take us back to a certain time or remind us of certain people. There are so many playlists made of all genres and eras, Disney songs, and other nostalgic music. Or, you can make your own playlist of childhood music, such as your own personal favorites or songs your parents loved.
5. Create something for yourself.
When we were children, we were free to write, draw, paint, and sing without expectations put upon us. Give yourself some time to create these things again. It can be as simple as coloring in a coloring book or making up a dance to your favorite song. No one else needs to see it, so embrace the freedom and creativity of being yourself.
6. Treat yourself to a favorite childhood snack.
Buy your favorite cookies, popsicle, ice cream, candy or PB & J. Remember how that snack gave you such a joy and you savored every bite. It may even take you back to a happy memory as a kid that you forgot about.
Go the park, climb the monkey bars, go down the slide, swing, play a game, board games, cards or teach your kids or grandkids a game you used to play when you were a child. HAVE FUN! Playing like you did when you were a child can help you feel more connected with that part of you. It can also encourage healing.
8. DREAM again.
Journal about your childhood dreams and memories. This may encourage you to go after something you wanted as a child. Or remind you of a happy memory you never want to forget.