Mentally Healthy Halloween & Safety Tips
Halloween is a time of fun and excitement. Yet, the holiday is associated with negative feelings for some people, especially pre-teens and teens, due to the pressure to participate in exciting activities. So we've come up with a few tips to help you have a good time and stay safe, no matter your celebration style.
Mental Health tips:
Beat Social Anxiety by Making Plans Now. Attending a smaller gathering will be more fun for many introverts than attending a big bash for Halloween. Try gathering up a small group and going with the classics like a horror movie night, scary theme board game, a get-together to carve and decorate pumpkins, or binge on some of your favorite Halloween treats. No matter your choice, commit early and remind yourself that it's only one night.
Don't Face Depression Alone. Instead, plan to make "social interaction/people time" a part of your day. Positive social interactions can boost your mental health, especially for those who struggle with depression. A few minutes of your time to socialize can make a big difference, and although having the energy to do anything when you're depressed can be difficult, make it a point to fit it into your day.
Stay Safe & Sober. You don't have to drink or do drugs to have a good time. Drunkenness often results in poor judgment, regrets, or even violence and assault. When you drink alcohol, the reward system in your brain triggers dopamine release, so alcohol often seems to have a stimulating effect—at first. However, overwhelming depression and anxiety after a night of drinking are more common than you think. Think of how fun Halloween was as a child—because you can re-create that joy by finding the right way to celebrate!
Don't go alone. Be the parent, or know the parent, leading the trick-or-treating expedition. Having this information will allow you to know where your children are at all times and help educate them on the types of houses safe to approach. For older children, heading out with a group of friends, set up route boundaries and a curfew, so you know where they will be haunting and to expect them back. If they don't have their own, consider giving them your cell phone for the night in case of emergency.
Create a candy plan. While Halloween is an exciting time for kids due to the vast amount of treats they receive, it is essential to make sure you inspect all the goodies before they dig in. Check for choking hazards, broken packaging, or tampering, and never accept homemade treats made by strangers. Also, discuss your candy plan with the kids in advance to avoid disappointing surprises on the big night. It may seem excessive, but setting up quantity limits at the start will help ensure your family understands moderation.
Face the irritations. When using makeup as part of the costume, test a small area before applying entirely to the face or body. This step may help prevent possible skin and eye irritations – and pain. At the end of the night, remove all makeup with a gentle facial cleanser and a soft cloth. Another thing to note: seasonal makeup typically has a short shelf life and can irritate the skin if used after its date, so always check the expiration before putting it on.
Dress with caution. Decorative contact lenses, ill-fitting masks, and costume accessories increase the risk of falls and injuries. Instead, try doing a full dress rehearsal of the costume, makeup, and footwear before the big night. Not only with your kids love getting to wear their costume more than once, but this will also allow you to avoid any day-of costume mishaps.
Keep your eyes on the road. If you're the one driving, be careful and reduce your speed to make things safer for potential trick-or-treaters who are excited and perhaps not paying attention. Also, try to eliminate distractions inside your car – including your cell phone – so more attention is paid to the road and your surroundings.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Please always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions. Programs and services are subject to change. Managed Health Network, LLC (MHN) is a subsidiary of Health Net, LLC. The MHN companies include Managed Health Network and MHN Services, LLC. Health Net and Managed Health Network are registered service marks of Health Net, LLC or its affiliates. All rights reserved.