10 Things We Did When We Were Kids That Can Help Us De-Stress As Adults

by Kristen Garafano

When we're kids, we're blissfully unaware of the reality of the world around us, yet our environment and circumstances shape us into who we'll be when we grow up. Our best memories may come from that time in our lives, but we probably didn't even realize we were making memories (or what the word even meant).

We might've still been peeing in our pants in kindergarten or coloring on the walls, even if our parents repeatedly told us it wasn't allowed. We slowly transitioned from playing with Barbies and superhero figurines to cell phones and iPads. We outgrew our bikes and got our first cars.

We stopped going on playdates and started going on Tinder dates instead. We stopped playing tag, basketball and riding around on scooters. We started staying inside to use our laptops and cell phones at school, at work and at home.

Kids may not be very wise and definitely don't have it all figured out, but there's a thing or two we can learn from them and our former selves. Here are 10 things we did as kids that we should do as adults:

1. Drink less coffee and more juice.

I used to be obsessed with apple juice as a kid. It was my drink of choice with every meal. But then one day, I decided I didn't like it anymore. I told my mom, so she stopped buying it, and I never drank it again for years.

I know the amount of sugar in some juices does not make them the healthiest option, but they're still better than soda, energy drinks, caramel lattes with extra whipped cream or copious amounts of alcohol. So maybe it's time we revisit fruit juice. Who cares if people judge you for bringing juice boxes to work? We can also just pretend wine counts.

2. Break out the coloring books.

It makes sense that we should color as adults, since by now, we can hopefully actually color inside the lines. Plus, adult coloring books are basically therapy without actually going to therapy. They'll make you calmer, and you'll end up with a cool picture to hang on your fridge.

3. Take a midday snooze, but don't get fired for it.

At one point in our lives, napping wasn't frowned upon; it was actually encouraged. According to a recent study, one third of Americans don't get enough sleep. (This really doesn't surprise anyone, does it?) In an ideal world, we'd get nap time right around that 2 to 3 pm mark, when we're all in that sluggish post-lunch phase and can't stop checking the time until we can leave work.

Settle for a night where you treat yourself by going to bed earlier than usual, or take a day off to just sleep. Or, take a quick nap on your lunch break. Whatever works.

4. Play sports for fun.

It's crazy how sedentary your lifestyle can become once you transition to adulthood. I was never a fan of gym class, but at least we used to be active. The mile runs and “Fitness Friday” used to suck, but at least we were running and getting our cardio on. Now I wish I had someone to force me to participate in activities like that.

5. Hang out with friends sans cell phones.

Remember when we actually had to call our friends on home phones to speak to them? Now, my cell phone is by my side 98 percent of the time. When we're with our friends, it's still there and we're on them, posting Instagram pictures of our brunch dates and swapping selfies to our Snapchat stories. Maybe it's time we turn our phones off for a couple hours and focus more on each other.

6. Have a bubble bath.

Bubble baths were all the rage as a kid. Back then, I didn't want to get clean unless bubbles were involved. Showers are great and all, but baths are so much more relaxing after a long week of work. Light some candles, grab a glass of "juice," put on your favorite calming playlist and you're set.

7. Ask more questions.

Children are curious creatures. It's easy to stop asking questions and learning new things once we grow up and school is over, but that doesn't mean we should. Just because we're older and have more experiences under our belt doesn't mean we know it all. We should always be eager to learn new things, even if it is different from our opinions and beliefs.

8. Watch cartoons instead of the news.

I mean, I guess you could count some of the recent presidential debates as cartoons, but we won't go there. Most of the news stories lately just make me angry and sad. Cartoons make me happy. Do what makes you happy.

9. Read a bedtime story to yourself.

Turn off the Netflix before bed, and open up a book instead. Maybe there's no one there to read to you like when you were younger and then tuck you in, so why not read a book on your own? It's a good way to wind down at the end of the day, and you'll probably sleep a lot better since you won't be staring at the bright screen of your laptop.

10. Stop caring so much about what other people think.

Kids are the ultimate example of a no f*cks given attitude. We should adapt that attitude to our current everyday lives and relinquish the stiff mold of how we think an adult should act. What if I randomly want to break out in song and dance at work when it's quiet? My kid self would be totally down.

Being a kid was way more fun than being an adult. It's OK to go back to that mindset every now and then. We spend our younger years building ourselves up to prepare for adulthood, but we often forget about the things we did as kids. Yes, we have way more responsibilities now, but in between getting those things done, we should take a break and act like we're 7 again. I think I'm probably better at being a child anyway.