As October unfolds and the air grows crisper, Halloween is just around the corner — with its promise of spooky decorations, creative costumes, and sweet treats. Yet, while the holiday offers plenty of fun and frolic, it is also essential to approach it with a wellness lens. In this column, we will discuss how to make the most of Halloween while ensuring your physical and mental well-being.
Costumes: self-expression with sensitivity:
Dressing up is undeniably one of the most anticipated aspects of Halloween. It is a chance to step into another character, to be imaginative, and to express oneself. While selecting a costume, consider the aesthetic appeal, comfort, and appropriateness. Avoid costumes that are culturally insensitive or could perpetuate stereotypes. Remember, Halloween is about fun, not offending someone with an ill-considered outfit choice. Additionally, ensure your costume does not pose any physical hazards, like tripping or obstructing vision. Safety and respect should be at the forefront of our costume choices.
Mental well-being and boundaries:
While Halloween is a time of excitement for many, it can also bring some anxiety or unease. The horror, dark, and supernatural themes might not be everyone’s cup of tea. It is crucial to recognize and respect your boundaries and those of others. If certain activities or settings make you uncomfortable, it is okay to opt-out. Similarly, be considerate of friends or peers who have different comfort levels. Halloween should be enjoyable for everyone, meaning understanding and respecting individual preferences.
Celebrating with caution and respect:
If you plan to consume alcohol for your celebration, be aware of your limits. Alcohol affects everyone differently, and knowing how much you can handle without it affecting your judgment or well-being is essential. Remember to pace yourself, intersperse alcoholic drinks with water, and never drink on an empty stomach.
When attending parties, especially off-campus or in unfamiliar settings, go with friends and make a plan to check in with each other throughout the evening. It is also a good idea to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return, especially if you are going to a new place. Transportation is another critical aspect of safe partying. If you plan to drink or consume cannabis and/or alcohol, ensure you have a sober ride home. This could be through a designated driver, a taxi, or a rideshare service. Remember that you should never drive under the influence.
Regardless of their nature, costumes are never an invitation for unwanted advances or comments. Ensure that your party navigation includes safeguarding your well-being and that of your peers through regular check-ins, especially in unfamiliar environments. At the heart of every interaction, mutual respect and clear, consensual communication should be top of everyone’s mind.
As the Halloween weekend unfolds, Student Residence Life will again offer the Balance Basecamp, ensuring that a safe and supportive space is accessible to all students amidst the celebrations. There you can grab some food and play some games in a quieter environment. Keep your eyes peeled on our social media channels over the coming weeks, where more detailed information about the Balance Basecamp will be released.
Halloween is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate creativity, indulge in playful spookiness, and spend time with friends and loved ones. By approaching it with a mindset of health, mindfulness, and respect, we can ensure a festive, enjoyable experience for all. Happy haunting, Mounties!