Don’t let the winter blues get you down! Start planning how you’re going to engage in your community because February is Recreation Therapy Month. Whether it’s a New Year’s resolution or not, this is a golden opportunity to try something new that helps you be more physically and mentally active.
We all enjoy a little alone time, but recreation therapy is better with someone. Call your girlfriends, talk to your partner, or suggest it to a family member or your caregiver. Together, you can make the most of it, get the right gear, and get started.
What Is Recreation Therapy?
Recreation therapy consists of engaging activities for seniors and people suffering from injuries or diseases. It’s an essential part of an individual’s rehabilitation, regardless of age.
Because recreation therapy focuses on social interactions, it improves cognitive functions, conversational skills, and sleeping patterns. Activities stimulate appetite and reduce feelings of isolation and depression. Recreation therapy is designed to brighten an individual’s mood.
Aging and spending too much time with yourself can influence your daily mood and stop you from doing things that you love. Do yourself a favour this year and stay active and in contact with people. Here are some ideas to get you started:
Work on Puzzles
Shake up your routine with fun puzzles that you can work on with a friend or by yourself. There are an infinite variety of puzzles if you get bored with the traditional crossword, sudoku, and word search.
Tickle your little grey cells with these:
- Spot the Difference
- One-minute Mysteries
When you need an alternative to number and letter puzzles, there is also the image puzzle. Since our moods change, being able to choose the amount of pieces you want to work on is highly beneficial. It’s fun to work with someone on a gigantic puzzle while recording the process you make each time.
Healthcare Solutions offers magnifiers and writing implements to simplify these tasks. Stores that sell puzzle boxes have gotten smarter over the years and now offer large print books.
Whether you join a class or you and your partner follow an online video, yoga is meant to a customizable exercise. The second you feel pain, there is no need for you to do that particular pose. Yoga is a low-pressure practice that strengthens your muscles and makes you more mindful of your posture, breathing, and overall physique. Stretching can make you feel refreshed and improve your mood.
Grab a mat and try out Mountain pose, Warrior pose, or even Downward Dog.
Have a Party... Just Because
You don’t always need a reason to throw a party, and it doesn’t have to be a big bash either! Organize an intimate get-together with your friends, family, even your neighbours. You don’t need to go overboard with the food. Tell everyone that it’s potluck, so you have less stress on your shoulders and who knows? Maybe you’ll discover a new dish that you can’t live without!
Hosting a party will get everyone talking, whether it’s about the latest price hikes or a novel someone’s recently read. If you like, you can set up some retro board games that will have everyone sharing their fond memories about it in no time. Games often get people laughing while encouraging friendly competition.
Start or Join a Book Club
Starting and keeping a book club going can be a challenge, but if you’re up to it, persuade your friends or family to join you in choosing a book each month and sharing their thoughts on it. If your partner is the only other individual who reads with you, that’s okay. It will provoke stimulating conversations between the two of you as you analyze the story and characters.
The easier option is finding an already established group and joining it. This way, you’ll still have the engaging conversation and meet new people while feeling apart of a community.
This can be tricky with the snow, ice, and cold temperatures. However, if you can do several shorter walks throughout the day or take advantage of sunny ice-free ground, don’t forget your walking poles!
Using walking poles while hiking lets more of your body engage in the activity. Using the poles to push off gets your abs working and corrects your posture. Some of the impact will transfer from your knee and hip joints to your upper body, reducing pain.
For a complete list of the benefits, take a look at one of our other blog posts.
Get Creative with Painting
You don’t have to be the next da Vinci to be a painter. There are dozens of painting styles to choose from and explore, from Picasso to Morrisseau to Monet. Art is about expressing your emotions any way you see fit. There are no rules to follow… unless you and a friend decide to work on a single tableau.
If you’re stumped about what to paint or do find this activity more frustrating, don’t worry! You can choose a Paint-By-Numbers set that makes the decision for you, so all you have to do is paint!
Create a Scrapbook
A scrapbook is a visual storybook about your life. It lets you remember the highlights and milestones you shared with the people you love. The book can be any size you want with whichever photos and decorations you choose.
When you’ve decided on the theme of your book (achievements, family outings, etc), find the photos that you want featured and shop around for the craft supplies with which you want to decorate your book. There are tons of ways to make a stunning presentation, from decorative tape and paper to stickers and glitter to paint and colouring pencils. Scrapbooking is an activity that can be done alone or with some friends. As a group, it encourages conversation, as well as a little gossip and bragging.
Purchase Equipment to Simplify Activities
There’s no reason for you to cut out what you love to do. Healthcare Solutions has equipment for everyday living, therapy, fitness, mobility, and more! We also provide resources for additional support.