8 Ways to Decompress from the Stress of Halloween

Halloween is one of those fun holidays that everyone looks forward to, from younger kids who grow up trick-or-treating in the neighborhood to the college kid who dresses up for fun and goes partying well into the night (even when Halloween falls on a weekday, like this year). In fact, I’d venture to say it’s become something of a cultural phenomenon over the past few years!

However, as someone who typically doesn't go all out for the holiday, pales at the thought of attending Halloween Horror Nights at Universal, and easily stresses over coming up with a unique costume that feels true to my interests as well as over plans that always seem to fall through, I’ve decided this year will be different. I’ve come up with a list of different ways to relax during “spooky szn” that are both introvert-friendly or work for anyone who’s in need of a break.

1. Bake some cookies (Christmas doesn't have to have all the fun!)

Contrary to popular belief, baking can be relaxing! Sure, there’s a certain satisfaction you can get from creating something completely from scratch, but for most people, the thought alone is enough to raise their blood pressure—and without the help of the sugar rush! Thankfully, there’s an easy solution to this problem in the form of Pillsbury sugar cookies. You can pick from the jack-o-lanterns or ghosts, or just get one of each! Plop them on a cookie sheet, slide them in the oven and relish the fact that in 10 minutes or less you’ll have a plate of warm cookies.


2. Get comfy and watch a Halloween movie

Whether you’re a hardcore slasher film-lover and live for the blood, gore and screams, or prefer to sleep through the night and catch "It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" on TV, never underestimate the power and simplicity of movie watching. Just grab a blanket and the remote, and have a bag of microwave popcorn on hand—or the white cheddar brand if you’re feeling fancy.


3. Play in makeup: the costume for your face 

Whether you’re a wizard with the eyeliner wand or a noob like me, if you want the fun of pretending without any of the fuss, pulling out your makeup and seeing what looks you can come up with is a super fun way to get into the spirit of Halloween without any huge commitment. YouTube has scores of videos from beauty gurus that touch on just about every skill set and nearly any brand, from drugstore to the more high-end products. Leaving the house with your "beat" face is purely optional, but having an enjoyable time is an absolute must!

4. Have a Monster Mash Jam-and-Clean session 

Messy spaces can be stress inducers too, and sometimes a nice cleansing and decluttering session is a must. Make your space smell nice with fall scents, like apple cider and cranberry for the perfect touch, and throw on some music from a Halloween playlist. 

5. Buy candy!!!

Self-explanatory but important to mention. Halloween is the holiday for candy, and no matter where you go, there's no shortage of sweet treats in anticipation of the huge sales. Jump on the bandwagon and grab a bag for yourself! Sharing is purely optional.

6. Find and read a good book 

Books were literally made for low-stress situations. Much like picking the perfect Halloween movie, the perfect read and the optimal space for said activity will ensure that your holiday has all of the thrills with none of the exhaustion.

7. Indulge in a pumpkin beverage

It’s literally the land of plenty where pumpkin and pumpkin spice flavored products are concerned! Places like Starbucks, Dunkin and McDonalds have you covered with the cold varieties, but you can also hop on Pinterest and find dozens of recipes for pumpkin hot chocolate, pumpkin spice drinks and chai lattes if you fancy those!

8. Carve or decorate a pumpkin

You can purchase one from a pumpkin patch or hit up the grocery store and find the perfect pumpkin from their selection and go to town. There are a bunch of stencil sets to choose from if you want to forgo the iconic jack-o-lantern smile and carve something more unique into your pumpkin. On the other hand, if sharp objects make you nervous, or you’re just a disaster zone when it comes to trying to carve a pumpkin, glitter, stickers and a paint job are never out of the question.  

Any of these activities can be just as fun when done with a friend or with a group of people as a low-key get together if you'd rather not celebrate alone. Whether you incorporate one or all of the above suggestions, Halloween doesn't have to take a hit to your health and well-being.

Happy Halloween Knights! 

Images: All photos taken by author