Halloween saw some of our young people adding a new dimension to the traditional hot chocolate drink. Not only did they indulge in a warm cup of cocoa, but they also applied their creativity to produce some very impressive spooky Halloween chocolate drinks. These personalised Halloween masterpieces were both scary and delicious!
Why Choose a Hot Chocolate Themed Halloween?
Halloween celebrations are full of sensory stimulation, it’s an exciting time with lots of sounds, noises and visual stimulation. This feeds into the reward centre of the brain, just like cocoa is known to do. Therefore hot chocolate is the perfect partner to any Halloween celebration.
Using Cocoa in Therapeutic Care?
Encouraging rewarding positive experiences is part of our therapeutic care practice at First Blue Healthcare. Research has suggested the consumption of cocoa has a positive effect on wellbeing and is associated with feelings of gratification, which contributes to an overall sense of contentment. This is because cocoa makes the body release feel-good hormones like endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, which are responsible for improved mood, increased energy, and a sense of enjoyment.
Therapy Through Creativity
By enabling the young people to create their own drinks in order to reflect their personal tastes and preferences, like cocoa, this too triggers feel-good hormones because it’s a pleasurable experience. Plus, therapy through play and creativity, like making hot chocolate drinks, is not only good fun but is also known to improve self-esteem, encourage self-development and increase a young person’s confidence. This principle is just one of the key underlying aspects of therapy at First Blue Healthcare.
Hot Chocolate Mindful Breathing Techniques
Chocolate can be used in other ways in our therapy practice; for example, hot chocolate breathing is a fun activity and encourages children and young people to use mindful breathing techniques in order to relax the mind. They are asked to visualise holding a cup of hot chocolate and then go through the following steps:
- Breathe in through your nose like you are smelling a delicious hot chocolate.
- Exhale through your mouth like you are blowing to cool it down.
First Blue Healthcare aims to promote a stable, secure environment that puts mental well-being at the forefront of our care. Staff at our children’s residential homes are trained to provide support for the children and young people using the therapeutic approach of parenting and the Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) principle, which underpins the PACE model. You can discover more about our Therapeutic Care here.