When and where was the last time you experienced a creeping internal sensation of gnawing fury? It may be a feeling like you’re doing too much of something. Another may be you don’t have the resources to accomplish the task at hand. Occupational literacy is the first step to commit to the justice of a quality of life. Occupational Therapist Elizabeth Townsend defines this as “a source of language and skills for persons at any age to adapt to diverse contexts and purposes.”
Sensations like fury and fear may be difficult for some to identify with words. Some confuse a feeling with a need. Two examples of this are suppression by consumption (shopping, food, alcohol) or silence (gossiping, lying, unrealistic perspective). This Globis 2013 survey identified how 200 leaders lack the language and skills and avoid necessary conversations by alarming percentages. 97% believe they will cause stress, 80% believe they will get an angry response and that “difficult conversations” are part of their role.
GIG Design facilitates an awareness of occupational justice. In my role as a wellbeing design consultant I often facilitate underlying sensations and awareness of touch, smell, sight, and hearing to extract performance barriers from stimuli that improves productivity. But sometimes in doing this work I find an individual is already aware. They don’t commit to their rights, responsibilities, and liberties for health and quality of life needs. This commitment is identified as occupational justice.
How do you commit to the justice of a quality of life? Here are three occupational justice categories and five questions designed to help you identify injustice for healthy recommitment to those everyday activities that ‘occupy’ your time:
OCCUPATIONAL IMBALANCE This happens when feeling overwhelmed OR underwhelmed with occupations (activities that occupy your time).
- What in your life do you feel like you’re doing too much of?
- What in your life do you feel like you’re doing too little of?
OCCUPATIONAL DEPRIVATION This is lacking participation in a meaningful occupation.
- What opportunities are lacking that might help participation in a meaningful occupation specific to one role (i.e. at work, at home, in the community)?
- What resources might facilitate participation in a meaningful occupation within a specific role?
OCCUPATIONAL ALIENATION This is when satisfaction is lacking or absent within an occupation.
- What struggles are present when seeking meaning, recognition, or reward within each of the following six lifestyle:
- Physical lifestyle, including routines and habits of diet and movement;
- Occupational lifestyle, including satisfaction and enrichment or situations and activities;
- Intellectual lifestyle, including motivation through creativity and cognitive applications;
- Spiritual lifestyle, including seeking purpose, meaningfulness, and existence;
- Social lifestyle, including contributions to the environment and community;
- Emotional lifestyle, including awareness and acceptance of feelings.What struggles are present that cause an absence of meaning, recognition, or reward within the following lifestyles:
The goal of these questions is to facilitate consideration of participation in meaningful occupations in a more nuanced and complex way. Occupational literacy offers the ability to adapt to diverse contexts and purposes at work, home, and in the community. When committed to the identification of sensory stimulates or barriers to performance it opens up opportunity for communicating rights, responsibilities and liberties for productive change.