Occupations are meaningful, practical, and purposeful activities that we participate in as part of our daily lives. We have occupations as children and as adults.
The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (2011) have framed self-care, leisure, and productivity as the broad categories of occupation. We use this as a framework for all of our clients; children, adolescents, and adults.
Self-Care may refer to many things; emotionally, physically, or mentally looking after ourselves. This might include personal care, sleeping, eating.
Leisure may relate to play, hobbies or interests which are intrinsically motivating to us, perhaps with friends or family, or perhaps alone. This might include sports, online communities, clubs.
Productivity provides a sense of achievement. It may be employment, learning at school, construction, art, volunteering.
Our occupations are unique to us as individuals. For example, for some people, cooking may be a pleasurable and relaxing hobby (a leisure occupation). For someone else, it may be something we do for work or as part of our household management (a productive occupation). Alternatively, it could be a means to look after ourselves and ensure we are nurturing our body (a self-care occupation).
It is important to Occupational Therapists to understand your valued occupations. Our mantra is “Helping people to live, not exist” (The Royal College of Occupational Therapists).