With all of the season’s focus on candy and treats, it can be easy to miss the healthy side of Halloween/fall. Here are our top reasons to love the healthy side of the holiday!
1. Hello, neighbors! The process of trick-or-treating can be sweet – yes, for the obvious candy options, but also because we can catch up with neighbors. Most of us tend to have relatively little connection with the people who live nearby, especially when compared to years past. Ringing a doorbell and stopping by to say hello can offer an initial opportunity to build quality relationships with our neighbors.
Healthy reminder: Relationships with neighbors can create a healthy community that can form supportive relationships.
2. Increasing your activity level. Screen time can result in limited activity. The benefits of the Halloween season include the extended Trick-or-Treat walks you take, or the autumn activities that motivate us to get outside in the cooler weather. Spending a day at an orchard, picking up a pumpkin, or even decorating the yard can result in additional activity to boost your health!
Healthy reminder: Outdoor activities offer the benefits of being in nature and may help to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
3. Increased time with family. Your family is celebrating the season with you! The fun associated with helping children pick a Halloween costume or spending time with other family members at a haunted attraction or apple orchard can be moments that build and strengthen our most important relationships.
Healthy reminder: Loneliness has been shown to have a negative effect on your emotional and physical health. Surrounding yourself with loved ones has been associated with reducing blood pressure and weight loss.
4. Scary movie season. While it may not appeal to everyone, there is some evidence that watching scary movies can assist with helping to manage fear and anxiety. Because we watch but are outside of the experience of the characters, we may be able to effectively develop skills to reduce anxiety. Some research suggests that these movies may also boost our immune system.
Healthy reminder: Keep looking for ways to use healthy coping skills to effectively manage periods of stress and anxiety.
5. Time to socialize! The cooler weather makes it a great time to enjoy being outside – or inside – with family and friends. With multiple holidays, autumn is the perfect time to dine out with friends, have fun at a Halloween party, or plan a day for a fun activity.
Healthy reminder: Consistent socialization is associated with better physical and emotional health. Take the time to spend even a few hours with family and friends.
What’s the takeaway? While there’s a heavy focus on candy and sweets over the next several weeks, there are healthier options and a variety of ways to celebrate the beauty of fall. Here’s hoping you enjoy lots of great times with the people you care about!
One extra thought – helping others can also lift your mood. Don’t forget to donate any leftover Halloween candy! New Vitae Wellness and Recovery collects our extra sweets for Operation Gratitude, benefitting deployed troops and Veterans (www.operationgratitude.com). Think about donating if you can!