Even for someone like me who loves the season, Halloween stress can feel overwhelming. Yet, it’s something so often glossed over.
While Halloween is associated with excitement, fun and costumes, it can become stressful for a variety of reasons. And not just for those of us who are struggling with adulthood. Even children can feel the stress of social gatherings, loud noises and spooky costumes!
But why might we feel stressed during this time of the year? While, yes, some of our daily life stressors can come into it, there are others we might not even think of!
Why do people feel Halloween stress?
Choosing a costume!
For many who enjoy Halloween, trying to choose a costume can be stressful. Specifically, if it’s for your child who, quite possibly, is being influenced by those around them. While not a huge issue where I’m from, there are places in the world that take Halloween and the costumes that come along with it very seriously. In Ireland we used to make do with a black bin liner, some fake blood and a wig from the local pound shop. But now? Now it’s all about who can have the latest superhero costume or the best SFX makeup! There can be a huge pressure to not only look good, but stand out during parties and trick or treating.
If you don’t have the time, money or resources it can feel overwhelming. And while us adults have the privilege of hiding away, our children might not. In fact, I’ve heard of instances of bullying surrounding a child not having a ‘good’ costume! It’s crazy and therefore completely understandable that some people might be feeling stressed!
Remember: If you and your children are going out trick or treating after dark, always ensure to wear something reflective! Halloween costumes are traditionally dark in colour, making it harder for motorists to see you! Cut out the middle man and put on a reflective armband, carry a headlamp or even incorporate high-visibility fashion into your costume design.
Planning a party!
If you’re hosting a party, be it during Halloween or any other time of the year, it can take a lot of time and energy. The preparation itself can be daunting, and then there is the hosting and inevitable clean up associated. Things are easier to manage if there are multiple people to help you prepare, but if you’re by yourself, things can get very overwhelming, very quickly and can only add to the Halloween stress!
Tip: Call in the re-reinforcements for help in planning, hosting and cleaning up. Make sure these are people you can trust to stick around and not dodge a bullet when it comes to clearing up broken glasses.
Concerns about safety!
We’ve talked about Halloween safety on the blog before, but back then COVID was our biggest issue to contend with. Despite fears and restrictions being lifted, it’s important to continue to practice caution when it comes to Halloween events and trick-or-treating. Not just because of illness, which is still a very valid concern, but also general safety. This is especially true for parents of young children.
You might find yourself worried about things such as road safety if you’re sending older children out by themselves, or even predators. Some might even find themselves rightfully concerned about the goodies being passed out to children by potential strangers, irresponsible firework use, and even adverse weather conditions.
Reminder: Young children should always be accompanied by a responsible adult. Especially after dark!
Feeling social pressure!
Despite my extroverted appearance, I am very much an introvert. Social gatherings bring me a lot of anxiety, and while I do love to see my friends, it’s the strangers that often come along with it. My husband is very much in the same league.
The social aspect and the anxiety that comes along with it can only add to Halloween stress! This time of year is often filled with party invitations of every scale. While my husband and I have the luxury of avoiding them if we decide to, for many, this isn’t an option! Especially if you have children.
Reminder: Be kind when it comes to parties. Don’t force anyone to attend if they don’t want to. And if they do attend regardless of social anxiety, it’s important to understand how big a deal that truly is.
5 + Halloween Hobbies to help relieve stress!
If you’re finding yourself suffering from Halloween stress, it’s time to step back and look for other ways to manage. Some things simply can’t be avoided entirely, but how you go about decompressing can make all the difference.
I carved my first pumpkin at twenty-eight years old and it was one of the most joyful experiences of my life. It wasn’t at all like carving turnips, an Irish tradition which had initially put me off the idea. While it was messy, it was easy to carve and the innards made for good soup.
So, why not give pumpkin carving a try? There are hundreds of images for you to try and recreate, simply look on Pinterest for inspiration. And, what’s more, you can use the pumpkin to make some autumn-themed dishes, so far little goes to waste.
- Pumpkin Pie Spice Pancakes Quick Recipe
- Most Delicious Pumpkin Gnocchi With Butter & Crispy Sage
- Halloweentown’s Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Pumpkin Spice Overnight Oats
It may initially seem like a daunting task but it’s actually very rewarding and feels good to get messy with a goal in mind.
There’s nothing that screams Halloween quite like a good scary movie marathon. But, if horror isn’t your thing, there are plenty of softer Halloween-themed movies to choose from.
Set yourself up a ‘home cinema‘ on the couch by propping up some pillows. Make yourself some popcorn. Close the curtains, dim the lights and set the mood for a night of entertainment on your own terms. Whether it’s a Michael Myers slasher, or something tamer like ‘Halloween Town’, a movie night is the perfect way to decompress.
While costumes can be stressful to organise for some, for others it’s entirely the opposite. Having grown up around cosplayers, I’m well aware of the joy of a good costume coming together. I even had some friends who found the whole process soothing. To many, designing and creating a costume can be a form of escapism and an outlet for creativity, both of which can be amazing forms of stress relievers.
Halloween Arts & Crafts.
Create spooky decorations for the house, paint your windows with Halloween designs, or why not download and colour in some themed pages? It doesn’t matter if you don’t have kids, you can still decorate and get creative for yourself! We never have any trick-or-treaters, and we don’t have any kids. Yet, our home is always ready for Halloween.
Here’s one you may not have thought of, though. Why not try creating a Halloween Wreath? It’s just like a Holiday wreath, but much spookier! Want to give it a try? Check out this tutorial!
I’ve created multiple FREE colouring pages for you to print, use and share!
Some people might find the storytelling part of Halloween to be a tad ‘scary.’ However, it doesn’t always have to be. Growing up we shared the same old myths and legends, but we also created our own. As children, more often than not, they were filled with fun, laughter and, looking back, weren’t all that scary at all.
Gather your friends around, or even your kiddies, and create your own worlds together. Encourage everyone to tell their own story, no matter how silly or short. And you can even play a game of ‘the next sentence’ wherein everyone adds to the one story bit by bit!
Get creative with apples!
Yes, you read that correctly; Apples! All sorts of them! From apple pies to dunking for apples, you’re guaranteed to get your five a day during the autumn season. But, really, what’s with all the apples?
It actually goes back to the ancient Celts who believed that apples represented love and fertility. During Halloween, young women would bob their heads into a bucket or basin of water in an attempt to grab an apple with only their teeth. Traditionally, the apples were ‘named’ for their male suitor. So, if they successfully caught the apple on their first attempt, it was love at first ‘bite.’ If not, then it wasn’t meant to be.
Another way people played bobbing for apples also included romance. Numerous people would take part at once, and the first person to grab an apple with their teeth would be the first to get married.
However, when I was a child, it was just an excuse to get messy and cover your granny’s kitchen floor in water.
Similar to bobbing for apples, children were also encouraged to put their hands behind their backs and attempt to bite into apples tied up on strings. The tradition is similar to the above, but a little more difficult. The longer the rope, the harder to catch.