If you celebrate Halloween, let’s focus on how to get through the holiday in a way that can uplift your self-image and mental health.
Here are tips to help you cope and have a mentally healthy/healthier Halloween.
Decide to enjoy the holiday.
First, if your planning, pep talks, and portion control concerning the food has given you your desired results and allowed joy without tormented obsession, then fantastic! Do what already works for you.
For most of us, though, the stress-outs and promises we make to ourselves can result in eating in secret or feeling out of control while shoving sweets into the mouth. Then, the tidal wave of guilt washes over us.
How about this instead? Give yourself permission to enjoy as others do.
Try to be in the moment.
It can feel challenging to be in the festivities when your brain wants you in the food. Thoughts may seem to chatter, distracting you from, for example, trick-or-treating, a horror movie, or a party. Try using one of your senses to get you in the moment. Consider the traditional categories: sight, hearing, smell, touch, and taste.
If you choose sight, look around and actively observe your surroundings. Mentally note every detail you can in whatever you are viewing, such as the movie scene, the costume, and the kids’ glee. What are the colors, patterns, and energies?
Maybe you find sounds easier to focus on. Identify as many distinct sounds as you can in your immediate surroundings. Even if you listen for a few seconds, it can help to ground you.
For smell, that’s pretty self-explanatory. Smell may be hit-or-miss for helpfulness.
Touch can be incredibly self-soothing. Maybe you’re wearing a piece of jewelry you connect with, or there are some textures on your costume?
Avoid taste for now because taste can be activating instead of calming.
Don’t be mean to yourself.
And finally, if you feel awful during or after Halloween, maybe you eat in secret, you take food from your kids’ candy-loot, you feel overly full and nauseous, and the list might continue. If any of those things happen, please treat yourself as you would your best friend.
Take time and enjoy the Holiday.
Have a Happy Halloween!