Find Your Inner Child
Take a cue from the First Lady – stop worrying about your hair and pick up a hula-hoop! Here are 5 fab ways to tap into your inner child.
-Kathryn H. Cusimano
From J. Crew cardigans to neo-Victory gardens, First Lady Michelle Obama has added First Trendsetter to her resume. Recently, she made a splash when she donned a hula-hoop and swerved her hips like a pro for the cameras at the Healthy Kids Fair at the White House. And this Halloween she treated 2,000 (!) trick-or-treaters to a super cute cat costume. As I flipped through dozens of pictures of the First Lady having a blast acting like a kid, I realized how important it is to keep my own inner child alive. Here are five ways I let my kid side show – and how you can do the same.
1. Let your inner Spice Girl out
I sing constantly. I’m proud to admit that I sing along with Matt & Kim (or Snow Patrol, or Jay-Z or …) while I’m walking home, and I hum my own tunes while working around the house. And when Beyonce comes on, I can’t help but dance, whether I’m cooking or out to dinner with friends (seriously).
Singing and dancing are ancient, organic forms of self-expression that you should never, ever deny yourself, so don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed of running with the beat.
2. Play with makeup!
Instead of just the same old routine you can probably do in your sleep, have fun like you did the first time you ever got to wear makeup. And no I don’t mean go back to your sloppy clown application of old. Just allow yourself to be playful and enjoy a little experimentation. I may have tossed my white, glittery shadow/liner a long time ago (it was worse than you think), but I still like to play with bold colors. Makeup can be a fun way to express yourself – it’s little more than painting on a living canvas. I recommend jewel-toned eyeliners, like emerald or amethyst – just a hint will make your eyes really pop!
3. Bring back recess
Recess was once an integral part of your day, but without a mandatory daily dose of fresh air and sunlight, you can get sluggish and even depressed. Limited sunlight can cause reduced levels of seratonin, a neurotransmitter that impacts your mood. No fun! So make the most of your lunch time or afternoon “coffee breaks” — go for a walk (window-shopping counts!) or take your favorite magazine outside to read. And make sure you fit in a Phoebe Buffay run whenever possible – this is a technique I perfected on my freshman field hockey team. Go for a jog and let your limbs stretch and fly like rubber bands – it’s a heck of a lot more fun than the aptly named “suicides” agility training technique!