OT Week 2023 starts on Monday 6 November and finishes on Sunday 12 November and this year OT Week is all about explaining what occupations are in the context of occupational therapy.
In the context of occupational therapy, what are occupations?
An occupation is any activity that we need, want or like to do to live and to look after our physical and mental health, and our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. We do occupations from the moment we are born, on our own or with others.
Occupation isn’t just your job or activities of daily living. An occupation can be self-care, such as washing, eating or sleeping; productive, such as work, study, caring or domestic activities; and leisure, such as playing sports, hobbies or socialising. We’re all different and so are the occupations that matter to us. They vary depending on our environment, interests and values, talents and skills. Our occupations also change throughout our lives.
Occupations are the building blocks of life. But why do they matter?
Occupations are essential to living. They give our lives meaning, purpose and structure. They help shape who we are, connect us with others and help create our identity and sense of belonging. Through occupation we enhance our health and quality of life. Focusing on occupation leads to improvements in our ability to do the things we need and want to do, our social relationships, communication and connections as well as our mood, rest and sleep.
Occupations are particularly important when we’re going through times of change. When we can’t do an occupation anymore or we need to adjust the way we do it, because of ill health or other barriers, our sense of self and purpose may change. This is where occupational therapy comes in.
Occupational therapy puts quality into your life.
Occupational therapists see beyond diagnoses and limitations to hopes and aspirations. They look at relationships between your occupations, the challenges you face and your environment. Then, they create a plan of goals and adjustments targeted at achieving a specific set of activities. The plan is practical, realistic and personal to you as an individual, to help you achieve the breakthroughs you need to elevate your everyday life. This support can give people a renewed sense of purpose and open up new opportunities and change the way people feel about the future.
Occupational therapy helps you live your best life at home, at work – and everywhere else.
For more information visit www.rcot.co.uk/occupation .