Adulting is hard. Work, bills, responsibilities, running errands, cooking for the family … the list goes on and on. It’s enough to wish you were a child again. Remember those days when you couldn’t wait to be a grown-up? Life’s sort of ironic that way.

Seeing the World Through a Child’s Eyes

Think back to what it felt like to be a kid — to play with reckless abandon without fear of who was watching or what they were thinking of your silly antics. I remember long summer days on the farm, twirling around in circles until I was so dizzy I’d collapse on the grass and giggle my 5-year-old heart away. This summer, I witnessed my darling 1-year-old niece doing this exact same thing. After my heart stopped melting at her sweet innocence, I was reminded of a very important lesson we all should adhere to now and again: Stop taking life so seriously, and play like a kid again!

We all need a break from adulting once in a while. And you don’t have to go far to find that inner child within.

1. Make a Play Date With Yourself

Woman in a yellow jacket journaling on a notepad

Grab a pen and paper, and write down the things you loved as a child. Think about why these activities made you happy. Did you like dancing? Find a local gym with a group dance class. Nothing nearby? Turn the music volume up to 11 at home, and have your own dance party!

2. Play in the Rain

A close-up of a child's pink flower galoshes as they jump in a rain puddle

When’s the last time you embraced the rain instead of running for cover? Next time it starts to sprinkle, think of your inner child and how she used to love splashing in the puddles. I dare you to take it a step further and make mud pies. I used to do this as a kid, and they are some of my best childhood memories!

3. Take a Hike

Woman hiking while wearing a blue backpack

As children, we couldn’t wait to get outside. Indoors were boring (read: no Netflix shows to binge-watch), and we couldn’t wait for the weather to warm up so we could explore the outdoors. Being in nature has been shown to reduce our stress and puts our big-girl problems in perspective. Listening to the birds singing, feeling the sun on your face, and just enjoying the simple beauty of nature can make all the difference in the world when you need to reset.

4. Eat Ice Cream

Child on the beach eating a chocolate ice cream cone

That’s right — you heard it on a health and wellness blog to eat more ice cream. What brings out your inner kiddo faster than a scoop of soft serve chocolate ice cream on a warm summer’s day? Even better, make a healthier version of ice cream with these recipes. All the flavor, none of the guilt!

5. Play in the Park

A little girl with brown hair smiling while swinging

Jog to a local park or playground for sand sprints, monkey-bar pullups, park bench dips — you get the idea. Or, if you just want to see how high you can swing, do that, too, because butterflies in your belly can be a good thing! You’re guaranteed to get the giggles by trying this.

6. Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Brightly colored fruits and vegetables in baskets

And now here’s our healthy PSA on keeping your youthfulness long after childhood. You need a healthy diet with fruits and vegetables to provide you with the nutrients you need for an active, on-the-go lifestyle. Try to eat the rainbow, meaning you should vary the color of your fruits and vegetables, as they all have different nutrients. This healthy eating pattern will reduce your risk of cancer, heart problems, high blood pressure, stroke, and diabetes.

7. Ride a Bike

Child biking along a sidewalk in the park

Tired of your same old work commute, or just looking for a way to burn more calories? If you haven’t ridden a bike in years, there’s nothing better than getting back on one to help you reconnect with your inner child and get some exercise at the same time!

8. Put Your Phone Down

Father and son relaxing in the sunshine with their arms behind their head

Here’s where irony comes back into play. Remember when we thought it would be so cool to be connected, like, all. the. time? That sure backfired, didn’t it? When I’m back on my parents’ farm, my Wi-Fi connection is slow at best, but it reminds me to slow down and soak in all the scenic views surrounding me, and my soul is instantly happier.