Oncologist Dr. Belinda Yeoh and a patient


What is leisure?

What is leisure?

Leisure is an essential part of our lives. When we're involved in satisfying leisure activities, we can gain a sense of freedom, control, creativity and achievement.

Leisure also gives us the chance to develop our skills, friendships, and
self-confidence. It helps us enjoy new experiences, challenges and adventures, and to stay healthy.

Leisure activities are freely chosen, can be done in a place where you feel comfortable, with people you like to be with and leave you feeling good about yourself.


Defining leisure within rehabilitation

Leisure provides a way to link the hospital's program to the individual patient's sense of self, personal biography and history. This is because the experiences that are meaningful in people's lives can be largely understood as leisure experiences: such experiences are freely chosen and reflect what is important in people's lives, such as creating a piece of art work, being moved by a film, renovating a car, witnessing your team's grand final victory or defeat, participating in personal or family celebrations.

Leisure in a rehabilitation program provides a way to bring the individual patient's life more comprehensively into the process of recovery. Leisure interests and experiences provide a way to integrate the rehabilitation process around the actual and potential engagement of the patient both in the hospital environment and the community.

The Community Integration & Leisure Services department's purpose is to provide quality services to patients; enabling a smooth transition through the care process, ensuring individuals adapt meaningfully to new circumstances resulting from injury or illness and assisting individuals to establish an enjoyable and balanced lifestyle in their community.

A successful rehabilitation program must recognise that an individual who has acquired a disability must deal with social and emotional concerns in addition to physical issues. People who have acquired a permanent disability are confronted with a range of issues in all areas of their life.

Community Integration & Leisure Services staff - working as part of the treating team - play a critical role in assisting individuals to address those various issues. Individuals are assisted to explore both their abilities and limitations, their strengths and vulnerabilities and to gain an understanding of their new circumstances in order to make the adjustments necessary to rebuild their lives.

By developing patients' recreation interests, their social networks and community links, they are able to identify factors affecting their motivation and self esteem. This is crucial to ensuring patients derive the optimum benefit from their rehabilitation. Simply rehabilitating individuals to their fullest physical potential will not succeed without addressing their whole of life issues.

Leisure possibilities

  • Outings and socialising
  • Outdoors and adventure
  • Craft and handiwork
  • Home and gardening
  • Art and self-expression
  • Games and sports
  • Health and wellbeing
  • Personal development
  • Lifelong learning
  • Music and entertainment

How do I choose?

Ask yourself:

  • What really gets me going and excited?
  • When do I seem and feel most alive?
  • What helps me feel a sense of purpose?
  • What do I want from my leisure activities? New friendships, new skills, relaxation, a sense of achievement?
  • What do I want to do and when? How often?
  • How much will it cost?
  • Do I need transport?
  • Are other friends interested?