Spooks and spiders not your thing? We’re here for you.
While lots of us look forward to getting our spook on, Halloween can be a horrible time for people with anxieties. Scary stuff is everywhere you look, from creepy decorations and horror movies on the TV, to spooky masks and pumpkins galore. It can be almost impossible to avoid Halloween but there are steps you can take to help you reduce your anxiety.
The pressure of finding the ‘right’ costume can cause a lot of stress. You may feel under pressure to wear something ‘spooky but sexy’ or to spend a lot of money on a very authentic-looking costume. You might feel pressured to wear a costume when you really don’t want to. Whatever the situation, talk to a friend or parent about how you’re feeling. Be kind to yourself and learn more about dealing with anxiety here.
TRICK OR TREAT
If you have social anxiety, then the thought of trick or treating is likely to fill you with utter Halloween dread. It may make you feel less anxious if you go along with a group of friends or decided to only visit doors of people you know, like family members. Or do yourself a favour and skip the trick-or-treating section of the evening completely – you can find plenty of Halloween fun at home!
Halloween is a LOT to deal with if you have common fears of things like spiders, clowns or the dark. It’s not easy to avoid triggers during the spookiest month of the year. Talking to friends and family about your fear can help. You might be keen to try and ‘face your fear’ by desensitising yourself – if spiders make your skin crawl why not try touching a plastic decoration and build up to holding it in your hand? Take your time and be patient with yourself. You can read more about how to cope with a fear of the dark here.
Halloween parties = a whole lotta people. If crowds make you feel anxious, try to plan alternative Halloween fun with a smaller group. How about a spooky movie night with a few good mates? If you find yourself feeling panicky during a noisy party, take yourself outside for a breath of fresh air. Focus on your breathing and give yourself time to calm down. You can discover more grounding techniques here.
While it’s easy to avoid watching scary movies at home, it’s not so simple when you’re at a sleepover or a friend’s house and someone sticks Scream on the TV. You don’t want to be a killjoy by asking your mates to put it off, but you know your anxiety will be through the roof for days if you watch it so what do you do?
If your friends aren’t keen to switch to a less scary movie, you could pop on your headphones and keep yourself busy on your phone or tablet. Turn away from the TV to avoid seeing anything you don’t want to see and turn your volume up high to block out any background noise. Alternatively, you could leave the room and sit somewhere else, re-joining your friends when the movie is finished.
We hope you all find a way to have a happy and healthy Halloween but if you need more help with anxieties, click here.