Therapeutic Recreation Resources Connect and Network with fellow recreation therapists and activity directors Therapeutic recreation and activity directory jobs Therapeutic Recreation Directory Search the Therapeutic Recreation Directory Frequently asked questions at Therapeutic Recreation Directory Photo Credits for photos posted at the Therapeutic Recreation Directory Therapeutic Recreation Directory

Stress Management Programs and Protocols

Stone Balance
Submitted by Karthikeyan V of Artyplantz on 10-12-15

Size of Group: 1-2

Equipment/Supplies Needed:  River stones

Activity/Treatment Objective or Expected Outcome:  Hand-eye coordination, Concentration, Mindfulness, Fine motor skills, Self-esteem, Stress Management

Description of the Activity: Collect 10-15 Nos. river stones. Find a place, relax your mind and arrange the stones one above the other. Try to arrange as much as possible. Do this in regular ways and keep trying to increase the number each day. This is the best and simple activity for improving the concentration and helps to distract your mind from other thoughts.


Stress Balls
submitted by Shakira Blassingame of CSUS-Sacramento on December 19, 2006
Size of Group: Any
Equipment: Salt, funnels, and balloons
Objective: Reduce stress, exercise, increase motor skills.
Description: Place a funnel inside a balloon, pour in the salt (the amount of salt that you pour in depends on how big or small you want the ball to be), and tie the balloon at the top.  Voila, you have an instant stress ball.



Name that Tea
Submitted by Vickie Kornelsen of Northern Health - Mental Health & Addictioons on 8-21-13

Size of Group: Any size

Equipment/Supplies Needed:  Different types of herbal tea and a pot of some kind for each kind of tea, small pieces of paper, pen or pencil, hot water.

Activity/Treatment Objective or Expected Outcome:  Relaxation, discussing other stress reduction techniques that people have tried, settling before sleeping, introduction of new methods of stress reduction.

Description of the Activity: To start, number your teas in the order you'd like to present them, they either need to be all bagged tea, or all loose tea. If using bagged tea I would cut the label of the end of the bag so it can't be identified by the colour of the tag.

Gather people, or catch them as they come by, and introduce the topic of tea, (used as relaxation, part of the reason the world was explored initially, great way to relax naturally, can assist in sleeping, etc).

Let people try samples (I use small med cups)and ask if they can recognize any ingredients, and if they have a name they'd give the tea. Allow time for discussion as appropriate, When people are finished tasting go back over what each tea was and ask for comments and feedback in general. Then offer a full cup of whichever tea was their favourite.

Close the group as you typically would, I like to thank them for their participation and let people know they can come to you with any questions.


Submitted by Lynda Griffin of Helping Hand on June 24, 2004 at 04:28:59

Size: 8-10

Equipment: Towels, Face washers, bowls for water. Mixing Bowl, eggs, lemon juice. Sliced cucumber

Objective: Creates feelings of Self worth and enjoyment

Description: Beat the whites of eggs in a bowl (work out the number you need by the size of your group) until fluffy like meringue. Add a few drops of lemon juice. You can either put it on clients faces or get them to do it themselves. They then can place a slice of cucumber over each eye and relax to music. Leave mixture on face until set and then wash off with warm water. There is a lot of giggling and fun and it leaves clients faces shiny and clean. Then place a little moisturizer on hands and massage into clients faces.

submitted by Theresa Zaffini of Pine Knoll Convalescent Center on Monday, January 7, 2002

Size: 10-15

Equipment: Aroma Therapy Machine, relaxation tapes or CD, and relaxation lotion (located in any drug store)

Objective: This activity is for the high and low functioning. I find it works great with my behavior and wandering residents. It helps to calm them down and relax. They tend to sleep better.

Description: We turn on the aroma therapy with relaxation crystals one half hour before the activity begins. The residents come in and sit in a circle, we turn the lights off, close the door and turn on the relaxation tapes. There are usually two activity staff in the room and we each start with a resident and give them a 5 minute shoulder, neck, and back massage and then move to the next resident. Then we give a soothing arm massage with lotion and we massage their arms, fingers, and hands

Lend a Fish
submitted by Nancy Hahn of Sidney Square Care Center Pgh PA on Thursday, June 14, 2001

Size: Individual

Equipment: Small plastic or acrylic fishbowls, water, Beta or goldfish, fish food, film canisters, a spray of water greens if desired

Objective: A Relaxation technique,an anti-anxiety aide,a self-esteem enhancer

Description: Place a single fish in a bowl. Very inexpensive bowls often even with lids,are available in pet shops. These fish can be left in viewing distance of patients,or in the rooms of other residents for a few days or up to a week. They are fascinating to watch, and require little care. I have found them especially effective with vent patients who often are so intent on their next breath, that they have a high level of anxiety or just can't relax. We break a spray of greens into very small pieces and put a sprig in each bowl. It is best to use colorful or high definition fish. A few colorful pebbles are nice in the bottom, but not necessary. We use bottled water for our bowls, avoiding the additives needed for tap water. These have become very popular at our facility, we even have family member request them, and residents have certain favorites. If anyone has questions I can be reached at

Day at the Beach
submitted by Yvette Mclaughlin,CTRS of Inglis House on February 20, 2001

Size: 6-10

Equipment: CD player, big hand fan or a piece of cardboard used for fanning clients, CD with soft music and sounds of ocean waves, different aromas that would remind people of the beach, a short written guide to relaxation. sand and shells and smooth stones.

Objective: To relax clients and create a safe, calming environment for them. Stimulates their sense of sound,smell and sight. It may also trigger certain memories of family day at the beach.

Description: Start with clients in a circle, with the music playing softly in the background, ask each to relax and let there breathing slow down. allow them to get used to the music playing try to get a CD with soft music and waves with the sounds of seagulls and ships going by in the distance. Start off there journey at the facility where they are and continue to the beach onto a boat and in the water what ever you think is appropriate. Also use a very big hand fan to simulate soft breeze, just enough to make strands of their hair to move, also if you can get different aromas to go along with the day such as perfumes that have a citrus scent or a calming scent as lavender.

Send in additional stress management activities & protocols.

Activities & Tx pages sponsored by compuTR and maintained by Charles Dixon
If you copy ideas from this page, please give credit.


Ads - Recreation Therapy Store - Study For Tests - Danny Pettry CEU Program - NCTRC Study Guide

home page | about | resources | shop | connect | contact |jobs | join mail list | new | privacy | search 

Copyright (c) Computer Internet Services, Inc. Charles C. Dixon, MS, CTRS. All rights reserved. | Design by