women on bench next to bicycle

Five Ways to Embrace Your Inner Child

As adults we have many responsibilities. We are taking care of everyday needs such as cooking for ourselves or family, running errands, paying bills, laundry, as well as fulfilling other responsibilities, all while maintaining a social life, work, working out, and making sure we are staying on top of our mental health. We could all use a break from adulting every once in a while, to stop taking life so seriously and feel like a child again. The child within us did not leave when we became the adults we are today. That child is still apart of who we are, and we should learn to embrace them.

The dictionary defines inner child as “a person’s supposed original or true self, especially regarded as a concealed in adulthood”. Here is how we should embrace our inner child:

Get outside. As a child I remember spending all of my summer days outside. Spending time in nature and out in the sun can make you feel happier and less stressed.

Paint. From elementary school all the way to high school I’m sure you took at least some art classes at some point. Painting can act as a stress reliever. It is a great activity to help calm your mind and let go.

Go for a bike ride. I spent most of my childhood riding my bike around town. There is something so refreshing about the wind in your hair.

Put your phone away. I remember when my family got a computer when I was a child. My siblings and I would take turns playing games on it, and when we left our house, we were not connected to a screen or anything. Give yourself a break from being connected and embrace a phone free day occasionally.

Make a list. Set some time to sit down and make a list of all of the things you loved doing as a child and make a play date to do some of those things. If you loved climbing things, find a climbing gym near you. If you loved dancing, see if there are any adult dance classes in your area. 

Our responsibilities need to get done, but I think as we grow up, we tend to lose our playfulness, but by embracing our inner child I think we can find ourselves again. Remember to give yourself permission to put some music on and dance, paint, and explore your curiosity like you once used to.

Jill Haupts, Outreach Coordinator for The Kim Foundation

Jill Haupts is the Outreach Coordinator at The Kim Foundation. She received her bachelor’s degree in Child, Adult, and Family Services from Iowa State University in 2016. Jill joined the Kim Foundation in January of 2020, coming from Des Moines, Iowa. Her previous experience includes volunteer recruitment and fundraising, as well as experience coordinating services and providing resources to adults who have a mental health diagnosis. Jill’s role in the foundation is coordinating event logistics, presenting and attending community fairs, as well as volunteer coordination and recruitment. She enjoys working in the nonprofit field and has a passion for advocacy and helping others.