Today, I bring you something that’s been on my mind for a while. Something that I think is much needed not only during the current times, but overall in the past several years or so. Wellness. It’s a topic that occupational therapists know well. Today, I have for you a Wellness Challenge. I thought about calling this a summer activity challenge, or a adventure challenge, or even a play challenge. I kept coming back to a wellness challenge, though. There’s a reason. Family wellness is the home for wellbeing. It’s the “home” to function. Mindfulness strategies or regulation activities for kids to do when we see the need. These wellness strategies need to be integrated into our daily lives.
What is a Wellness Challenge?
Occupational therapists are wellness experts.
That may come off as a bold statement. But think about it. Occupational therapists help people of all ages and abilities DO the things they want and need to do through the therapeutic use of everyday activities (occupations). They help people do their daily occupations, or the things that occupy a person’s time.
A balance of our occupations fulfills our duties and the things we need to do. That balance allows us to get things done (school work, teaching our kids, work tasks, caring for others, caring for our home and belongings, caring for our bodies physically, managing our emotional well-being, and fulfilling our spiritual well-being). All of these demands require balance. The occupational balance needs to be both fulfilling and health enhancing.
(American Occupational Therapy Association [AOTA], 2014b; Hocking, 2019; Meyer, 1922).
Occupational therapists are skilled at identifying occupational needs and managing a balance of those demands.
Sometimes, that occupational balance gets out of sorts. We see dis-regulation, we see behaviors. We see emotions. We see mental or physical responses. We see a need for balance. A balance and use of tools and strategies allows for self-regulation and integrated use of coping strategies, tools, and resources to incorporate into various aspects of our daily occupations.
A wellness challenge is daily activities that
This Wellness Challenge is not…
They are not just ideas of what to do when frustrated, our-of-sorts, when feeling “less than healthy”, or even when bored. It’s not just a checklist to hang on the fridge and direct kids to when they need support. It’s not just a list of ways to get the kids active this summer or off their screens. (And I think we ALL need a screen detox at this point!)
This challenge is not one more thing to add to your to-do list. This is not another recommended list of ways to stay sane. This is not intended to be overwhelming or frustrating.
This is a wellness challenge. It’s a healing challenge. It’s a family challenge, loaded with things to do or ways to adjust thinking in a way that heals. It’s tools for incorporating into daily lives much like a sensory diet. The wellness strategies are meant to be part of our daily lives and cover all aspects of sensory system. The play activities build physical strength and coordination.
They are emotional regulation activities that offer calming heavy work.
These are ways to connect with what matters in your family’s day-to-day life.
There are sensory coping strategies.
There are creative activities to get the mind thinking and making. I am SO excited to bring this wellness challenge to you, because we all need things that are good for the soul and the body.
Be sure to stop back over the next week for more activities in the wellness challenge! You’ll find new tools each day over the course of the challenge, but this is your one-stop spot to all of the wellness activities in this family wellness challenge.
Get ready, let’s get started with family wellness and health and wellbeing for the whole family! Sign up below to join the wellness challenge!
This challenge will provide therapists with tools to help clients and their families.
This challenge will provide families with resources, information, and activities to center their family in balance and wellbeing.
This challenge will provide teachers, counselors, caregivers, administrators, and educators with resources to guide families into an optimal place.