How to Stay Passionate
as an Activity Director
Activity directors are hard-working, compassionate, great multitaskers, and efficient communicators, but just like any other occupation, activity directors can forget the reason why they chose such a demanding profession. Here are a few tips to help you get your passion back:
- Get Inspired. Visit another facility and get inspired by what they are doing. Look at their activity calendars, talk with their residents, and steal at least one great idea that you can incorporate into your own activity program.
- Practice team-building. Take a team-building break with your staff to recharge your batteries. Consider taking your staff to a local coffee shop to brainstorm ideas or taking your staff with you the next time that you go to the craft store to get their input about possible activity projects. In sum, get out of your environment, if just for twenty minutes, to take a break and to get a new perspective. See our article How to Get Your Activity Staff to Plan Your Activities.
- Reward your helpers. Host a pizza party to recognize and thank your volunteers and staff for all of their hard work.
- Plan inspired activities. What's that activity that you always wanted to try but never had the time or the guts to try? Yeah, that's the one. Try it out and have fun. It may fail. It may succeed. You will never know until you try.
- Get organized. It is hard to get passionate when you feel overwhelmed. Call your fellow activity directors for tips on how to get and stay organized.
- Pay Yourself First. Similar to what the financial gurus tell us to do all of the time, we need to make sure that we are doing something that fulfills us, at least once per week - something that we look forward to. Make time each week to do what interests you. If you have always loved doing one-on-one activities with residents, schedule to do that each week. If you have always wanted to go on outings with your residents, schedule a fun outing with your residents. Remember to periodically tap back into what made you want to become an activity professional in the first place.
- Take Your Vacation Days! Yes, your facility will survive without you for a couple of days. Take time for yourself and your family, and enjoy.
- Talk About the Good Things. Focus on the things that you love about your job. Try to minimize the time for complaining sessions with co-workers.
- Find a need and fill it. Each quarter, consider finding a need in your activity program (more volunteers, more cognitive games, satisfying activities for the weekends, etc.) and fill that need by solving the problem.