PictureR&R Care’s Erica & Loana (a.k.a. my supervisor :))

At this point in my practicum, I have attended around six day programs so far.  Every single one that I’ve witnessed and participated in never failed at making someone laugh… and it’s contagious!  Sometimes, I don’t really understand what I’m laughing at, but I’ve learned to be okay with it.  There’s always some comfort in letting out a laugh, even if it’s an awkward one.  Usually, what ends up happening is laughing at the awkward situation, and moving on, feeling slightly light-headed, uplifted, and energized from all that laughter!
 
Once I started participating more in the day program, I found that laughing about something we’re discussing first thing in the morning eases me into working for rest of the day.  It’s similar to what an adrenaline rush feels like when you’re working on an assignment last minute, except without feeling overwhelmed or like the world is about to end.  It’s a type of runner’s high—feeling happy and more ready for work than I have ever felt in a long time!
 
A wonderful article by Robinson, Smith, and Segal (2017) talks about the health benefits of laughter, and one of the things they said is that it “triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals”.  It is no wonder attending the day program has been the highlight of every week that I have been in school this term!

One of my favourite moments at the day program is when everyone would sit around the table, talking and enjoying each other’s company first thing in the morning.
 
That being said, according to Robinson et al. (2017), “[l]aughter brings people together and strengthens relationships” through emotional bonding and shared humour while communicating.  Laughing can also “[r]elease inhibitions”.
 


There was a time when the attendees of the program, recreation technicians/companions, my supervisor, another caregiver, and I took up all the space around the table.  Most of us had something to say, listened intently to one another with our coffee or tea in hand, and shared a good laugh here and there.  It was like one of those family dinners, where no one wants to leave their spot, since they’re afraid of what they’ll miss if they do!
 
I’m sometimes afraid of making mistakes here, given the thought that one mistake could negatively affect someone that I’m leading or assisting.  What I love about these morning discussions is that I get to know everyone in the room in addition to sharing positive moments with them.  This allows me to be more comfortable with, and to have the will in leading our next few activities.  Everyone here, one way or another, has helped me release those inhibitions, and take a leap of faith.
 
Robinson et al. (2017) also mentioned that laughter helps us see situations from a different perspective. That reminds me of a time when we were playing catch, and one of the individuals participating missed it and got hit by the ball (a soft one :D).  They didn’t make a fuss.  Instead, they made sound effects that imitated a ball exploding on their chest, closed their eyes, and stuck their tongue out, making us laugh and let go of what happened easily.
 
There’s always that one jokester in a group, event, or a gathering… but I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way.  I am so grateful that we have more than one of them at the day program!
 
Keep on smiling and laughing everyone!​Sending you good vibes 🙂MJ
 
Reference: 
 
Robinson, L., Smith, M., & Segal, J.  (2017, January).  Laughter is the best medicine:  The health benefits of humor and laughter.  Retrieved from https://rehabandretreat.com//www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/laughter-is-the-best-medicine.htm#social

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