Tonight’s Halloween (Great)! The favorite holiday of kids and adults alike (well, at least most adults), Halloween reminds us that dressing up, making a fool of yourself, and eating candy until you’re sick is definitely something you should do at least once a year. But what if we think about how to extend these lessons beyond October 31st?
Here are 5 things to think about doing the rest of the year:
1. Don’t take things too seriously.
Halloween is a playful day when we get to test boundaries, act in a “different” way, and generally have fun. Fun is good — just remember that the next time you’re working on a dreary project — and sometimes just trying to look at things differently can help.
2. Eat things that are bad for you (at least once in a while.)
Ugh. The morning after (or the night of) Halloween can be a bit of a disaster when we realize the vast volume of sugar and chocolate we’ve eaten, and you know what? It was worth it. Eating something that’s not good for you is a good metaphor for making sure that you do more of the things that you want some of the time. Obviously if you eat too much of the yummy stuff there will be consequences — but you have to indulge once in a while.
3. Dress up as someone you’re “not”.
Every kid wants to be an astronaut, ballerina, king, super hero, or cartoon. Halloween is an accepted time of the year to try on a new persona, at least for one night. We can use this as a metaphor to remind ourselves that trying on a new idea doesn’t mean that we’re stuck to that idea — and that we might find some great insights along the way — although it’s also good to remember that the punk costume you might have worn when you were 13 doesn’t quite fit the same way now.
4. Say hello to your neighbor.
Halloween, as done right in my opinion, is a porch-sitting, conversational, “get out and talk to people” holiday. It’s a time when regular people walk the streets in funny costumes and say hello to each other because they can. We can definitely say hello to each other more often, or make time to go see a friend “just because.”
5. Scare yourself (a little bit)
Halloween is a time when we get a small thrill from a pretend scare. It’s a good time to remind yourself of how scary things can be, and how much you can appreciate the things you have. (And also to enjoy the twisted and brilliant D.I.Y. that can result from people and pumpkins and Halloween joy.)