Written By: Ashley Triehy-Kreitler, APRN, FNP-BC
It’s that time of year again when the weather starts to get a little colder, leaves change color, the days are shorter, the nights longer and all the spooky decorations start to come out. That’s right, it’s Halloween time! This is typically a very exciting time of year for most, however it can be very hard mentally for some. Let’s take a moment to understand why Halloween might be more than just a little scary for some.
For those individuals who are struggling with eating disorders or eating disorder thoughts, Halloween can be a terrifying time. To have to worry continuously about what sweet treats may be coming their way is the brutal reality of an eating disorder. It can also take away the fun and join one may find during this season. The person may want to enjoy the candy, apple crisp, pie or cookies but the thought of actually consuming the treat is scary. This is why it is important to address the negative thoughts and diet mentality during the holiday season, because guess what?!?
It is OKAY to eat the treat! We are here to let you know we see the harm an eating disorder can cause around Halloween and holidays in general. Please enjoy the candy, the warm apple crisp or pie, whatever it may be. It is okay to eat it. Your body will enjoy it and in the end you will too. Let’s try and not let the eating disorder “trick” you into skipping the treats this year. If you want one, have one. It’s okay to eat the treat.
Now let’s talk about the costumes! Finding the best costume for you is one of the biggest hypes in the month of October. There is typically a lot of talk within school or even the workplace about what someone will be wearing for Halloween. The costume could be for a Halloween party, trick or treating around the neighborhood or a costume contest, whatever it is for, it can be an exciting or daunting task to find the “right” costume. One thing to remember this year is finding a costume that will honor your body!
Costumes can be difficult to pick as there is a lot of negative stigma associated with body image, social media and the costume you choose. That’s a lot of pressure on someone and not an easy situation to avoid, but this year let’s try to honor your body. Let’s try to decrease the negativity surrounding choosing a costume.
The theme of this year’s costume is “honor and recognize what my body has done for me”. What this means is focusing on finding a costume that promotes comfort, safety, self-love and gratitude. This may sound silly, but it’s definitely worth trying. When someone is able to find a costume that honors their body, we are able to celebrate how far their body has gotten them during the year 2022 so far, and that’s a lot to celebrate! When time is taken to honor their body, it can foster growth and positive associations with Halloween.
So, with that said, please remember to take time and honor your amazing body and all it has accomplished so far. And lastly, to please remember that it’s okay to eat the treats!
Have a safe and happy Halloween!