“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”Albert Einstein
Want to learn how to help your clients find creative hobbies they enjoy doing? This step-by-step guide is tested and approved for implementing creative hobbies in your Occupational Therapy sessions.
Engaging in desired and fun activities, such as creative hobbies, are incredibly motivating and have numerous positive benefits. As a mental health Occupational Therapist, I am giving you a compilation of the best creative hobbies for teens and adults.
You will learn how to write S.M.A.R.T. creative hobby goals with your client, the benefits of having creative hobbies, reflection questions for creative hobbies, and select creative hobbies of interest from an ultimate compilation list.
After learning all about creative hobbies, you will feel inspired to add leisure exploration and leisure participation into your Occupational Therapy intervention sessions.
This post is a step-by-step guide for Occupational Therapists to help their clients find creative hobbies they enjoy doing.
Creativity is a building process that expresses imagination and original ideas in a physical form, such as art, music, crafts, etc.
A hobby is any activity or interest done for:
A hobby is a structured, deliberate, and passionate activity involving more energy, time, and sometimes money than a leisure activity. Leisure is considered “down-time,” but hobbies can be part of leisure.
Leisure exploration is an occupation that focuses on the following:
Leisure participation is a more complex occupation because it involves more executive function skills. Leisure participation is the process of:
There are no right or wrong answers to these reflection questions.
The Zones of Regulation curriculum has defined the “Green Zone”, a.k.a. a calm state of alertness. Therefore, engaging in desired and naturally intriguing tasks will likely produce “happy emotions.”
Remember, there are no right or wrong answers to emotions, and our emotions fluctuate and change frequently based on internal states and the environment.
Help your patients identify their emotions and where they feel them in their bodies. Green zone emotions serve as a baseline, and bringing attention to these sensations can improve self-awareness, self-reflection, and interoception skills.
If clients don’t feel green zones emotions when it comes to hobbies and leisure, then explore that deeper to find the root cause. Maybe they feel guilty about taking time for themselves or undeserving of having fun in their current situation or engaging in their special interest.
Remember, emotions drive behavior. This potential barrier to leisure exploration and participation should be considered and implemented in treatment planning.
What are the benefits of having creative hobbies? Here’s why having creative hobbies are essential.
In this section, the client should select one minimum but preferably three creative hobbies they are interested in.
You will also want to address where they plan to keep these trinkets and how they plan to organize them.
If there are any creative hobbies not specified above, but the client is interested in, then obviously add them to their list. This is just a visual reference for idea generation.
After answering the reflection questions honestly and selecting three creative hobbies they are interested in, it’s time to write a SMART goal together.
Creating goals after identifying the “intervention” may seem backward, but you want to be as specific as possible.
Writing SMART goals together allows the client to provide their input, individualize and customize O.T. sessions for them, and have better buy-in and follow-through.
Grab a writing utensil and a piece of paper. Here is the formula for writing SMART goals:
Identify 1-3 creative hobbies they have expressed interest in pursuing. Next, ask them to narrow the list by identifying the number one creative hobby they want to pursue.
Why are they doing it? Where will this take place? What do they want to accomplish?
Measuring creativity is tricky but possible. How long will the client participate in this creative hobby? What does the result look like? Will there be an end product? If so, how many? How many items will they collect?
Is this creative hobby goal compatible with the individual’s strengths and weaknesses? Does it match past behaviors? Is it something they are genuinely interested in and passionate about?
Does the goal align with core values and dream life? Is it compatible with their current life situation? Do they have the energy, time, and finances for this creative hobby?
How many times per week and month will the client engage in this creative hobby? How long and how much time do they need to set aside to do this creative hobby?
Research the materials needed for the creative hobby and create a list.
Do they have the supplies on hand? Or do they need to order them? Is there a resource they can utilize if money is tight? Locate and gather the materials so they are ready to go.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.”Zig Ziglar.
Task initiation can be intimidating. I’d recommend doing the desired creative hobby with the client (this is called body doubling).
Leisure participation is occupation-based, and you can provide encouragement and assistance as needed. Practice makes perfect!
Kuypers, L. M. (2011). The Zones of Regulation: A Curriculum Designed to Foster Self-regulation and Emotional Control.
American Occupational Therapy Association. (2014). Occupational therapy practice framework (3rd ed.). American Occupational Therapy.
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