Recreational therapy has garnered much attention over the last few years as an alternative or complimentary therapy to more traditional therapies. Used either as a stand-alone therapy or as a great addition to a program, it is often beneficial to an individual, as it is a non-intrusive and deeply personal experience. Many activities that we do on a daily basis, or for pleasure and enjoyment, double as therapeutic recreational therapies. Here are 5 common pastimes to consider:
1) Yoga – The health benefits of regular and routine exercise are medically approved and regularly promoted by physicians and health care professionals. However Yoga, in particular, serves as a therapeutic exercise, as breathing and controlling the bodily movements not only benefits an individual physically, but the practice can also reduce anxiety and stress. Yoga has many health benefits and can even boost the immune system, allowing an individual to remain strong to navigate their way through life.
2) Mandala drawings – a spiritual and physical interpretation of balance, Mandala drawings are often very complex and intricate. Used by Buddhists for centuries, the practice of drawing, or coloring Mandalas requires focus, patience and perseverance, which are all key cornerstones of success of any therapy.
3) Poetry and Prose – Many of us write in some form, either for creative value, or for school or work, but writing stories and poetry can be a therapeutic experience as it often allows us to record thoughts, feelings or comments privately. It can help release thoughts and feelings in a structured manner, leaving an individual with the comfort of releasing thoughts and emotion.
4) Arts and crafts – The act of creating, from conception of the idea, to the end physical result is a rewarding experience for any individual. Not only does the art of creating temporarily distract, it allows a person to focus on a worthy pursuit with a clear end result.
5) Creating lists – Creating a list is something that we have all done from time to time. From a shopping list, to a Christmas card list, a list can be useful tool to remind us of what we need to do and when we need to do it. However, many people create lists for pleasure, or to use when they are setting goals or highlighting aspirations. We have all heard the term ‘bucket list’ – that is, a list of the things that we would like to do, whilst we are still able. Creating a list allows us to plan and focus on overcoming any obstacle and danger that we may face, allowing us to face life with confidence that we are prepared.
The 5 common pastimes illustrated above serve as excellent therapeutic remedies. This list is not in any way exhaustive and therapeutic remedies can encompass most creative or active pursuits. Therapeutic recreational activities are very subjective and each individual may enjoy something different form somebody else. One person may enjoy restoring an old car or motorcycle, while another person may prefer knitting or sewing. Either way, the principle remains: there is a plethora of activities and pursuits that serve as recreational therapeutic therapies. However, the 5 methods illustrated above are some of the most popular and have been proven to yield results.