Relaxation skills are personal.

 

The same relaxation techniques don’t work for everyone.

One activity might relax a person and the same activity could have direct opposite outcome for another person.

This concept reminds me of the older ad, “different volks for different folks.”

Different people find different things to be relaxing.

 

I like reading books. I find it relaxing. Someone else might find them boring.

 

Personal Experiences:

We had a thunderstorm today (here in Beckley), a little town nestled on top of a natural plateau area in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia. I took a nap. There wasn’t too much thunder. I found it very peaceful to hear the rain. In fact, I’m personally enjoy grey cloudy and rainy days. I’m very much like the song, “only happy when it rains,” that came out in the 90s by Garbage. Of course, I don’t want it to rain everyday.

On the other hand, my late maternal grandmother, Donna Keesee would have been very fearful of the storm. My grandmother had been given really nice necklace when she was a young kid. She took it off while playing. The storm came up. My great-grandmother told her to go get that necklace. So my grandmother ran out in the thunderstorm to get the necklace and was stuck by lighting under the tree. My grandmother was very nervous during thunderstorms (when I was a child).

 

Relaxation isn’t the same for everyone:

I provide services for children at a psychiatric residential treatment facility. These kiddos are in treatment due to abuse-reactive needs.

We provided relaxation skills training as part of the overall treatment for kids in the program. Some of the kids are afraid to close their eyes for relaxation training. They’re fearful of getting hurt again. We allow kids to keep their eyes open during these guided imagery relaxation scrips.

Kids often find hyperactive playing to be relaxing. They like running, climbing trees, playing ball, doing hoola hoops and having free play.

 

Doctors prescribe different medications for different people with the same needs. Penicillin might be prescribed to treat a person who has an infection. But the same medication would be disastrous for a person who has an allergy to penicillin.

 

Personal experiences: Many people report feeling drowsy and tired when taking Codeine (a medication for treating pain). I was one of the few people who had the adverse outcomes. I received it after dislocating a shoulder from a skateboarding accident.  I felt hyper-active from taking this mediation. I was giggling with my friends and I felt euphoric. I couldn’t sleep for days. I don’t take anything with that medicine.

 

The point I’m getting to with relaxation:

We, recreation therapists can provide education about the health benefits for relaxation techniques.

We can teach what studies have shown about the power of deep breathing, mindfulness, progressive muscle relaxation, guided imagery, and doing calming activities.

We can provide a mix of different relaxation therapy activities to help a person practice the skills.

Think of the cliché’ saying: We can lead a horse to water, but we can’t make a horse drink.

 

The patient will have to find a relaxation activity that works best for them.

They’ll have to choose one and use it.

 

How do you like to relax?

Post your answer below.