The Halloween season can cause a spike in anxiety levels for those who are in recovery. Those who struggle with overeating, binging and bulimia may view this time of year as a challenge and may be scared of the many ways that Halloween can trigger someone in recovery. Setting small goals during this time of year will help you stay on track. There is no need to eat a lot of candy just because everyone else is. Listen to your body and eat what you feel comfortable with. Enjoy the candy without focusing on nutritional value and if you are not ready for it, try some fun-shaped snacks. Allow yourself to enjoy the holiday fun.
If you are planning on going out on Halloween, whether that be to a party or trick-or-treating, go with someone you trust and feel safe around. Do not go anywhere alone to ensure that you are not tempted to break the strides. It is helpful to wear something you feel comfortable in. Do not feel pressured to look or dress a certain way. A Halloween costume can be as simple as your everyday attire with a pair of cat ears. Do not worry about what everyone else is wearing and focus on yourself and what makes you feel confident. If you have parts of your body that you are self-conscious of, wear a long sleeve shirt or colored tights underneath your costume.
If traditional Halloween events are of no interest to you, consider making other plans. There are many different ways you can celebrate without having to sacrifice your recovery. Volunteer at a children’s event or sign up to help with post-Halloween clean up in your neighborhood. Invite some friends over to your house to watch a scary movie to end the night. There is no need to participate in traditional Halloween events if you are uncomfortable. Do what is best for you and your recovery. It is important to celebrate holidays in ways that are best for you. Practice self-care and be mindful of how you are treating yourself during the holiday season.
Halloween can be a difficult holiday for anyone who is in recovery, but that does not mean that it should not be enjoyed. Always remember that you are not alone in your individual recovery journey and there is always help available. Joanne Gerr, L.C.S.W. offers compassionate guidance for those who need to move further along the road to recovery. To join a support group or for individual counseling, call 212-750-8130 or fill out an online form today. Located in Manhattan and Highland Park, New Jersey, our New Jersey therapist helps individuals throughout Highland Park, East Brunswick, Manalapan Township, Marlboro, Westfield, and New York City.