Play as Self-Care & as an Occupation

Have you ever thought about play as a form of self-care? What about as an occupation?

As we move into the season of Summer, many of us welcome more sun, warmth and time for rest and relaxation, travel, or a vacation. These warmer months bring more opportunities for enjoying outside activities and play. Play is a form of self-care and a way of approaching life from a place of curiosity, freedom, and joy.

Play helps us to relieve stress, have fun, prevent burnout, and balance out our work / responsibilities.  


What is play as an occupation?

Play is one of the main occupations of children, the medium through which they learn and grow. However, the occupation of play is just as important for adults, but many of us could use help in remembering how to play or be playful.

As an Occupational Therapist for the past 12 years and a Health + Wellness Coach for the past 2 years, I support my clients with reconnecting to what brings them joy which often involves incorporating more play, leisure, or recreation into their lives.

June 10th is Family Health and Fitness Day which promotes the importance of parks and recreation and keeping communities healthy and active.

Below are some possibilities to try:

    • Play a board game or outside sport with your kid(s)
    • Join a recreational sports team
    • Take an improv class
    • Join or start a club focused on a fun activity
    • Work on a puzzle solo or with a loved one
    • Try mindful adult coloring books
    • Put on your favorite playlist and dance it out
    • Take an art class
    • Exchange jokes with a friend or colleague
    • Cook or bake a new recipe
    • Get creative with photography
    • Get your hands dirty in the garden

How might you incorporate playfulness into your day?
How can prioritizing play improve your physical and mental health?

If you desire support with incorporating more play into your life for a healthier work-life balance, I’d be honored to work with you. We will create a wellness vision, realistic and sustainable long- and short-term goals and I will be your compassionate accountability partner, helping you navigate barriers to success.

Feel free to schedule a COMPLIMENTARY DISCOVERY CALL with me here

About the Author:

Abby Thrasher is originally from sunny San Diego, CA and recently relocated to Cincinnati, OH after living in the Bay Area (CA) for almost 30 years. She is a National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach with a background in Occupational Therapy, Dance, Yoga and Massage Therapy. She received her BA in Psychology from UC Santa Cruz in 1999 and her MS in Occupational Therapy at San Jose State University in 2009. Her experience as an Occupational Therapist (OT) was primarily in acute and outpatient mental health settings, with a few years of physical rehab work, which both strongly complement her training as a Health Coach.

In between her degrees, she explored other professions including Elementary School Teaching and Massage Therapy and made time for two of her passions – Dance and Travel – dancing with 3 Bay Area companies and exploring other cultures and ways of living. She is working towards the International Coaching Federation (ICF) Certification and is very passionate about a root cause approach to holistic health.

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