The theme of Occupational Therapy Week 2022 (7-13 November) is ‘Lift Up Your Everyday’.
The nation’s health is being impacted by many different issues and Occupational Therapists (OTs) are here to help people to help themselves.
This year’s campaign wants to tap into the wealth of knowledge OTs have and raise awareness of the simple things that can a have positive impact on people’s lives – it’s always easier with a little help from an expert.
Emma Tilley, Head of Adult Occupational Therapy says: “As OTs we are here to support people to do the things they want (and have) to do, to overcome challenges and complete everyday tasks or activities. All areas of health and social care are experiencing increased demand and we wanted to share some examples of things people can do to improve the different areas of their lives at work, home, school and play.”
Our OT colleagues share their top ‘Lift Up Your Everyday’ tips!
Colleagues from our Community Therapy teams share their top tip on getting better sleep
Getting a good night’s sleep is an integral part of staying well and ‘forming good sleep habits’ is an area we often address in Occupational Therapy. Our top sleep tip for you is to avoid caffeine for at least 6 hours before bed!
The half-life of caffeine is around six hours - meaning half of the caffeine you have consumed is still in your system six hours later. This can negatively affect your sleep. If you are a hot drink lover then try switching to a decaffeinated drinks in the afternoon/evenings, or a herbal drink such as chamomile tea instead. For more sleep hygiene tips you can visit: Every Mind Matters. There are also some ‘sleep hygiene’ resources on our Physical Wellbeing intranet page.
Rachelle Curtis, Community Children and Young People Occupational Therapy Team Lead, on putting the ‘FUN’ in function
Life is busy and it's often so easy to forget to play and let loose with our little ones. Play is a child’s favourite thing, but it’s also an amazing tool to help them grow and develop. What better way to work on tricky things than to be silly, get messy and simply have fun.
Whether it is pretending to be animals to work on our core strength, using funny puppets to work on challenging finger movements or having children put on their favourite pretend outfits to practice their dressing skills, play often puts the ‘FUN’ in function and is an OT’s best medicine.
Our OT Stroke Team on making sure you celebrate the small wins!
A stroke can have a number of life changing effects and it is important to set goals for what you want, and need to be able to do, by breaking it down into smaller chunks. There are a variety of ways to support you to achieve these goals. It could be through the use of different strategies involving equipment, education and training.
Setting goals will also help to keep you motivated, remain focused and give you a structured way to work towards your aspirations. Make sure that you take the time to celebrate each small win and give yourself a pat on the back, this will really help you to lift up your everyday!
Eduardo Nunez, OT in the Emergency Department on making the time for your own recovery
Working in an Emergency Department can be tiring physically, mentally and emotionally. We have to evaluate patients in a timely manner but yet still provide comprehensive OT assessments. It’s important to remember that the hustle and bustle of work life, for anyone, can often cause stress and fatigue. It’s so important to have a good work-life balance and take time for yourself. I do this by going to the gym or playing sports after work, it really helps me to recharge and prepares for the next day’s challenges. Make sure you take time to look after yourself.
Our Discharge to Assess team in the community on being organised and enjoying what you love!
Work: Start the day by writing a to do list of all the tasks you need to complete. Prioritise your list and consider what needs to be done today and what can be done tomorrow. It will give you a real sense of achievement as you look back and see how many tasks you have completed. You can also then see what you have got left to do and prioritise this for the following day.
School life: Encourage children to think about what lessons they have the next day and pack their bag ready so it’s ready. Running around looking for a PE kit just before school will just stress them, and you, out. They will feel a lot more relaxed if they can just grab their bag and go.
Play: Make sure you do at least one thing a day that makes you happy. Even if you only have 10 minutes can you snuggle down with a cup of tea and a book, or listen to your favourite music? If you struggle to find time to relax why not listen to your favourite tunes while you're doing another task to make it fun. Singing along in the kitchen while you’re cooking dinner is a great way to put a smile on your face and release those happy endorphins!
Wishing all of our dedicated Occupational Therapy colleagues a very happy #OTWeek22