The festive season started quietly at SANCA Wedge Gardens’ occupation therapy department, with clients experiencing some anxiety about coping with the holiday period while maintaining sobriety.
“To assist, we held sessions on triggers and coping mechanisms for anger and disappointment, which could lead to relapse. We also held sessions on how our clients could handle not seeing their family and friends, and coping with their feelings,” says Caryn Berman, SANCA Wedge Gardens’ occupational therapist.
“On the fun side, we decorated the department, including using recycled decorations such as Nespresso pods, and clients started making gifts for friends and family. They learnt how to make Christmas chocolates, which were packed with biscuits that they baked, decorated and placed under the Christmas tree to be distributed to all,” she adds.
Some of the clients also made Christmas cards for friends and family. “They also made beautiful gifts, including mobile phone stands, necklaces, keyrings and gratitude rocks to assist with feelings of gratitude. They packed and wrapped them and learnt how to make bows to decorate the gifts,” says Caryn.
Groups were more ‘relaxed’ at times, as games and competitions took place with fierce determination and great competitive spirit. “These included ‘table golf’ with candy canes and marshmallows, and scavenger hunts. The activities helped our clients to enjoy the festive season, while dealing with all of the emotions that it evokes. Some went home to celebrate, while others remained at SANCA Wedge Gardens,” says Caryn.