Through activity, a person not only develops skills but also learns about her/his strengths and weaknesses, because every activity involves the interplay of three factors: People are more likely to choose to engage in activities that they can visualise themselves doing and that fit their self-image. In turn, the activities performed shape how people feel about themselves. When a person feels good about her/himself and about the activity, s/he is more likely to be active and to be successful in that activity. When someone has a poor self-concept and does not see an activity as valuable, s/he is less likely to engage in that activity and more likely to perform it badly. People give meanings to the activities they do and these meanings have an emotional content that is bound up with feelings, beliefs, attitudes and values. Meanings develop, in part, from the experiences of activity that the individual has had and the associations that have been formed by those experiences. Meanings also develop through interaction with other people, since all human activity takes place within the context of social relationships. The social meaning of an activity is developed through learning the shared cultural knowledge base of the activity, that is, the acceptable techniques, context, materials, rules, sanctions and norms associated with the activity. Shared meanings become internalised and help to create a sense of social and individual identity.
Assessing if someone has regular and on-going problems with boredom and involve an occupational therapist to help them develop skills to address this Learn more about people who are seldom bored and share this information.
Activity on the wards older adults edit 2011 (1)
The therapeutic use of activity Is complex, with the same activity being used for diverse purposes in differing contexts. It may : - develop a skill; - clarify a relationship; - create an end product. To be of value , the activity must be selected to suit the individual ’ s needs, skills and readiness in relation to their stage of life and social and cultural values.
Why do people “do”? <ul><li>Goal oriented – means to an end </li></ul><ul><li>Purposeful – has an end in itself </li></ul><ul><li>Meaningful – has cultural, social, symbolic, emotional relevance </li></ul><ul><li>Engages interest, concentration and capacity </li></ul>
Some service user views of their experiences: <ul><li>“ Some of the things we do and benefit from, such as music or singing, have no tangible benefit but leave us feeling invigorated and happy.” </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ Doing things increases our sense of self worth. If we have nothing to do then we can become very isolated and this works against us”. </li></ul>
<ul><li>“ it may help us to laugh and enjoy ourselves” </li></ul>Activity?
Some service user views of their experiences: - on occupation and activity “ it may help us to laugh and enjoy ourselves but equally it may help us create an ordinary routine, which may seem simple but is a big step for some of us. For others it can give us the skills and motivation to look for paid employment. It can also help us with our feelings”;
<ul><li>“ It can open up new opportunities by exposing us to new situations and help us find a voice and means of self-expression that we lost when we became ill.” </li></ul>
Some service user views of their experiences: “ What do we mean by occupation? Occupation had many meanings for us. Being occupied can keep us well especially when we feel that what we have done is productive. Achieving something can prevent illness. If we do things with no end result then we can feel that what we are doing is done in vain and may question why we did it in the first place. ” from Recovering Ordinary Lives (2006) C.O.T. - service user consultation
“ It is also important that it strikes a balance between helping us regain the ability to resume the skills of everyday living without us feeling that we are being patronised or asked to do tasks that are over-simplistic. This needs to be matched with helping us to do things that we can succeed at and yet at the same time not creating a pressure to succeed that we can’t live up to.”
In short – activity can be: <ul><li>Mitigating/protective - impact of hospitalisation and associated experience </li></ul><ul><li>Preventative – from further damage to identity, esteem, hope </li></ul><ul><li>Maintaining – skills and valued roles </li></ul><ul><li>Restorative – recovering occupational performance and health </li></ul>
Activity… <ul><li>any mental or physical action that is performed voluntarily and directed towards a goal or end result; </li></ul><ul><li>The value that an individual ascribes to an activity influences her/his commitment to spend time on it </li></ul>
Activity <ul><li>meets basic needs, </li></ul><ul><li>enables self-expression, </li></ul><ul><li>may give pleasure or ensure comfort, </li></ul><ul><li>enables relationships with others, </li></ul><ul><li>encourages adaptive behaviour, </li></ul><ul><li>meets specific objectives </li></ul><ul><li>fosters active involvement by the individual in addressing her/his specific problems and needs. </li></ul>
the essential elements of ‘occupation’: <ul><li>It is culturally, temporally and ecologically contextualised, </li></ul><ul><li>it has a purpose or goal which may differ from received cultural ideas of its purpose. </li></ul><ul><li>It is understood to be subjectively experienced and the product of human capabilities. </li></ul>
Building towards occupation Skills Tasks Activities Occupations
<ul><li>If you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar </li></ul><ul><li>button that has </li></ul><ul><li>rolled under a </li></ul><ul><li>radiator. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>W Beran Wolfe </li></ul>
Boredom…. the enemy of therapeutic experience ? <ul><li>What’s OK about boredom? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s problematic boredom? </li></ul>
Can we banish boredom from our units? <ul><li>People experience boredom for different reasons… </li></ul><ul><li>External causes : </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequately stimulating situations </li></ul><ul><li>Inadequately stimulating environments </li></ul><ul><li>Internal causes : </li></ul><ul><li>Some are skilled enough not to be bored whatever the circumstances </li></ul><ul><li>Others do not have the skills so may be bored whatever the situation or environment. </li></ul>
We can do our best to diminish boredom by… <ul><li>Assessing if someone has regular and on-going problems with boredom and involve an occupational therapist to help them develop skills to address this </li></ul><ul><li>Learn more about people who are seldom bored and share this information (understanding ‘flow’ experiences). </li></ul>
A continuum of “just right challenge” <ul><li>challenge </li></ul><ul><li>skill </li></ul>
<ul><li>There are shortcuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them. </li></ul><ul><li>Vicki Baum </li></ul>
Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. Joseph Addison