Living under the current restrictions due to COVID-19 has most likely redefined how you approach even the most basic tasks in your life. It is a time in our history where you take nothing for granted, and perhaps the philosophy that necessity is indeed the mother of all invention has never been truer. The idea of activity therapy and “new normal” is not a direct response to COVID-19; it just so happens that this burgeoning therapy can be useful during COVID-19.
Activity therapy is a nebulous term that can mean many things depending on the context. However, every application sees its benefits. As healthcare evolves, it encompasses more than just physical healing. Activity therapy finds its way into any number of biological and psychological settings, including drug and alcohol treatment centers such as New Hope Ranch. Those who apply activity therapy as part of the recovery process recognize that the potential benefits are unlimited. To understand how it helps, it first takes an understanding of what it is.
Activity therapy, or experiential therapy, is any therapy based on crafts, exercise, music and drama. However, activity therapy is also therapeutic, allowing you to engage in actions and movements that help you face problems and concerns. These activities help you improve your life quality by encouraging you to confront difficult thoughts and feelings or build confidence and empowerment from within by overcoming a difficult task. Activity therapy also enables you to pursue new ventures. It is why this form of therapy can survive in any recovery setting, even amid a pandemic, because it is not limited to exploring the traditional interpretation of what it means to be “active” (National Center for Biotechnology Information).
Meditation and Mindfulness
One of the causes of addiction is the desire to escape from emotions, thoughts or fears. These habits may be challenging to overcome when triggers present themselves (NCBI). A primary facet of activity therapy is motivating you to face your emotions.
Mindfulness and meditation fall under the umbrella of both clinical and holistic/activity therapy. These acts will help you achieve mental clarity by focusing on a particular thought or object. At New Hope Ranch, we offer cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), strengthening your focus when practicing mindfulness and meditation. Your guide’s efforts will help increase calmness, manage stress, cope with mental health concerns and improve your mindset. The tools gained in these sessions will help you to practice both mindfulness and meditation from the comfort of your own home.
Yoga is another building block in strengthening recovery, but it is one of the most beneficial therapies that fall within activity therapy. Yoga can reach people of all ages and capabilities because, like recovery, yoga finds your strengths and helps you build on them. Additionally, yoga can increase energy levels, reduce stress and create self-confidence. These are essential in aiding toward lasting recovery. Yoga is another practice that you can participate in a group setting or from home. New Hope Ranch provides experienced instructors, so if you are wondering how to get started, reach out, and our staff will be more than happy to work with you to find out more about yoga.
Art therapy covers a wide range of practices, but all have one thing in common: expressive therapy forms. Tapping into your creativity can improve your physical, mental and emotional well-being. The process of expressing yourself artistically can aid in resolving underlying issues connected to your emotional state and your addiction. It can lead to improved self-esteem and awareness. The best part is you don’t have to be a trained artist to receive the benefits. The activities are about communicating how you feel through art. Activities may include drawing, painting, writing, sewing, playing music, acting and cooking.
Know Your Limitations, but Never Limit Yourself
While there are ways to define activity or experiential therapy, it comes down to having the ability not to place any restrictions on your capabilities. It is a way to seek opportunities to discover your untapped potential. If you are more adventurous, you might seize the opportunities to go hiking or rock climbing. If you are more about the sport of activity, you might run, bike or train with weights. Or, if you are more of a homebody, you might enjoy practices such as painting, meditating or doing yoga. Always remember, these activities should challenge you and your growth in your recovery. While balance is the key, you should never hold reservations and be open to trying, for this is the true essence of activity therapy and why this more holistic approach is becoming the “new normal” in therapy.
Treatment is just the foundation for building your recovery; recovery is a life-long process. The more tools you have in your toolbox, the better prepared you are to handle the challenges that will come throughout your recovery. If you are starting your journey or have reached a plateau in your recovery, we are always here for you at New Hope Ranch in Manor, Texas. With both a conventional and holistic approach, you can be confident that we will meet your individual needs, no matter where you’re at in recovery. To learn more, call New Hope Ranch today at (737) 600-8565. Our admissions staff is available 24/7.