Halloween, time of festivities, or time of rising anxiety?
Nov 2, 2020 @ 18:11

What makes Halloween so spooky?

One nice lady in our neighborhood doesn’t like Halloween. During the sweet hunt, as children often refer, the door of her homestay closed. There are no carved pumpkins on her porch or a scary witch in her yard. And she is not alone.

For some of us, it is one of the best holidays, memories of running around streets, cuter than a scary costume, but for the others, this holiday is pure horror in its real meaning.
Scary things are closer to the surface when we are exposed to them; anxieties can be harder to control. In all honesty, it can be tiring.
Social Anxiety Disorder is especially tricky in situations you can’t control, and if you are afraid of spiders, it is a scary ride at its best.

Trick the anxiety and treat yourself

Having an anxiety disorder is hard enough, but having a social anxiety disorder can be incredibly hard during the holidays.
Socializing with friends and family is more comfortable because they are familiar with your fears and habits, but Halloween can be completely different.
But with the right plan, you can manage to make it through Halloween just as well as everybody else.

Halloween away from Halloween

If you have severe Social Anxiety Disorder, the best way is to avoid it is by being at home during the trick and treating time. Make the evening pleasurable and treat yourself with something that makes you happy and jolly, because it is a holiday after all.
Present with presents
Close your door without guilt. Make yourself comfortable in your own home. It is the least you can do for yourself. Put the carved pumpkin on the porch. Make gift bags and put them in the basket with a note that you are not at home. Everybody’s happy.

Best hours of Halloween when the treats are gone

The mood can be improved by participating only for an hour or two, depending on the level of SAD.
Choose what works best is for you and trick anxiety and treat yourself.

The safety net is the net without spiders

Spending two hours in the theater watching Spiderman is optional. If you are suffering an Arachnophobia – fear of spiders, you will walk an extra block to avoid the theater building. But having to look in the eye of your biggest fear is awful, to put it simply.
The only good thing in this situation is that you can prepare yourself in advance because Halloween spiders come every year at the same time.
You’ve been through this before. You know what to expect.
Having this knowledge is easier to make your safety net or a good plan on spending Halloween without being overwhelmed with anxiety or exhaustion of fighting it.

Family, friends, and others with good intentions

Inform your friends and family that exposure therapy is called therapy for a reason and that putting a spider on the table or in your car is not recommended. This kind of exposure may not go so well. Exposure therapy is a strictly controlled and guided process by professionals.
Not a doomsday, but…
You cannot live in the cave during the holiday, but try to collect some tips about holiday decorations of the places you cannot avoid, like malls or shops.
As is mentioned before, you know when it is coming, so you can be prepared.
Stuff your cupboards and fridge before Halloween approaches, choose small stores, or stores less decorated for last-minute buying, without spiders hanging over every shelf.

Be ready and have fun, because why not?

Make some fun posts in your yard – witches are the best. Make your yard extra lit so that you can see costumes. Have an extra person to deal with kids during the trick and treats hours.

Blessing in disguise

Life is happening all year round. Problems, jobs, plans, and everyday life sometimes make us forget about our fears, anxieties, or phobias. Creating a comfort zone, even unintentionally and moving inside, would not make anxiety disappear. Creating solutions and solving problems on your terms instead of running around them when they turn up in front of us seems better.

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