Halloween can be great fun. Dressing up, parties, eating your body weight in sweets… but for those of us with anxiety, it’s not always so enjoyable.
If you’re like me, you’re going to be holing up at home on Halloween, and you’re absolutely dreading the entire evening. The thought of strangers knocking on my door with the intention of scaring me just makes me feel sick.
However, over the years I have put together a little survival pack of things to help to reduce my anxiety, and I’d like to share them with you today.
- Put a sign on your front door that says something along the lines of “NO TRICK OR TREATERS – DO NOT KNOCK”. Display it prominently, at eye level. Put another copy in your front window if necessary. (If you’re not sure how to word your sign, you can use the one I created by clicking on this link: No Trick or Treaters Sign)
- Don’t display any Halloween decorations outside your house. Having decorations outside tends to suggest that you’re open to Trick or Treaters.
- Close your curtains and lock your door. Make yourself feel safe.
- Distract yourself with activities, such as adult colouring, watching a funny film, reading a book, chatting with friends online, etc.
- Invite a friend or family member over for the evening. Having some company might make you feel a bit better.
- Don’t answer the door. If someone ignores your sign and knocks anyway, just don’t answer.
- If you have been prescribed anxiety medication by a medical professional, make sure you take them – but stick to the prescribed dose.
- Drink a soothing fruit tea to calm your nerves.
- Keep your pets inside. Even if your cat usually roams around in the evening, keep them in for the night. If they’re out, you will most likely worry about them, which will only add to your anxiety. Plus, if they’re inside, they’ll be available for cuddles.
- If at all possible, simply getting an early night and going to sleep is a good way to reduce anxiety. Catch up on some sleep, and when you wake up, Halloween will be over!
- If you’re really worried about being harassed or people causing damage to your property, you might consider installing some CCTV cameras. It’s expensive, but might be worth it if it gives you peace of mind. Another similar option is one of those doorbell cameras. When someone rings the bell, it alerts you on your phone. You can see who is at the door, and you can speak into your phone and the person at the door can hear you. You can ask them what they want, or just tell them to go away, all without having to answer the door. Again, expensive, but it’s a potential option.
- If you feel genuinely unsafe (for example, if someone is persistently banging on your door, or is threatening to vandalise your property), call the police. Halloween is not an excuse for criminal behaviour.
- And finally, try to remember that the majority of people who are out and about on Halloween will be kids and their parents, with no ulterior motive, and who will respect your sign and wishes to be left alone. Even if they miss your sign, they will most likely knock, realise you’re not answering, and move on. It’s only a small minority of people who use Halloween as an excuse to target people, and it’s unlikely you will encounter them. And if you do, you’ve got plans in place, and you’re safe inside your house.
I hope you find some of these tips useful, and I wish you all a safe Halloween.
What are your thoughts on Halloween? Do you have any of your own useful tips to reduce Halloween-anxiety? Let me know in the comments!