If there is something that we have learned during this pandemic, it is that boredom is very easy to attain. Did you know that taking part in leisure or recreational services can actually increase positive emotions through attention and thoughtful actions, while decreasing feelings of stress, anxiety, depression and any other negative emotions? This Pandemic has given us the chance to develop many new skills. For some it can include learning how to cook, or for others it can be newfound friendships through zoom events or simply checking in with a fellow neighbor. With a lot more free time on our hands, we have discovered the power of recreational activities and this has ultimately led to discovering new things about ourselves and the community.
I am currently completing my bachelor’s degree at Concordia University in Therapeutic Recreation. The principle behind Therapeutic Recreation is to achieve a quality of life, optimal wellness, and a sense of purpose through meaningful leisure and health promotional activities. I am lucky to be doing my final internship at MWCN to understand how Therapeutic Recreation applies to a community organization that targets minority English speakers in Quebec.
I was introduced to various in-person and online programs and activities offered by MWCN such as the walking group, art classes, social events, and educational health sessions. These activities allow participants to make connections and develop a greater understanding of themselves and those around them. The social connections are beneficial as we can support each other through social interaction. It’s as simple as laughing together or lending a hand to someone in need.
With this in mind, I highly encourage you to think of what you do in your spare time. Have you put some time aside for your leisure and recreational activities? As the MWCN Spring Program has recently been released, it can be a wonderful opportunity to join their services and add it to your leisure repertoire.
Here are some Key Tips from a Therapeutic Recreation student that can be helpful when thinking about joining any recreational activities.
● The future is yours. Consider new activities regardless of past interests.
● Give yourself time. If you are trying something new, you will not necessarily be comfortable or confident at first, but you will get there!
● Activities can be modified. You can participate at your ability levels. Do what you can do.
● Get informed. Look for information on activities. Call MWCN for ideas or services available, talk to friends and family. Look online for ideas.
● Come as you are. The goal is to feel better afterwards from the process while making great memories with lovely people.
By Ariane Weber