Breakthrough Patient Recruitment

: Be a Kid for Halloween this Year: It’s Good for Your Health

Be a Kid for Halloween this Year: It’s Good for Your Health

Project Manager

Fall is far and above my favorite season, even as many are mourning the end of summer. There's the beautiful leaves, the cool, crisp air, pumpkin everything, and, of course, the greatest holiday of all: Halloween! (Okay, I'm a bit biased; it's my birthday, too.) But one of the things I love about fall is that there are so many opportunities to be a kid again, and it's socially sanctioned!

Besides having fun and being outside in the gorgeous weather, acting like a kid again can be good for your mental health. First of all, playing around can make us better problem solvers and open our minds to creative solutions. But more than that, the fun activities typical to fall help us better live in the moment.

Let's take two of my favorite things as examples: pumpkin carving and dressing up for Halloween.

Pumpkin carving, depending on how thorough you are, has numerous positive qualities about it. If you choose to get a pumpkin at a pumpkin patch, that involves some exercise and lots of fresh air! Even if you just pick one up at the store, it gets your blood moving a bit to lug that thing home and up the stairs. Then comes the act of carving! It is a perfect way to channel creative energies, whether you opt for a more traditional jack-o-lantern or something extravagant. Lastly, if you save the seeds to toast, you get an easy and healthy fall snack!

Now for the Halloween costume: time to get creative and have some (more) fun! I am one of those people who start to get anxious if I don't have a costume idea by August. But whether you go big or small scale on your costume, the point is to have fun and get outside of yourself for a little while. A costume literally lets you be someone or something that you are not. I'm going to be a dragon this year. But the act of both conceptualizing a costume and pulling all the pieces together is part of the process-it serves as a creative outlet for you to express yourself. Don't worry about what other people think of your costume; this isn't supposed to be stressful, it's about being a kid again!

A few other fun things to do in the fall:

- Go apple picking and make fall treats like fresh picked apple pie or cider

- Collect leaves (bonus: make a craft project with them), or play in them!

- Go for a hike or bike ride to see the beautiful fall foliage

- Decorate your home (inside and out) for an additional creative outlet

- Go for a hayride with your family

- See if you can master your local corn maze

- Brave a haunted house or go on a local ghost tour

Many of these activities center around Halloween, but a lot of them are simply just fun to do in the fall. I suppose I could write a similar post for every season (what kid doesn't love snow?!), but for me, fall takes the pumpkin spice cake. Just don't indulge too heavily in the Halloween candy; it may make you happy for a moment, but not long term! That's what playing is for.

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