Fall is upon us, and with it comes many holidays and celebrations. One of those celebrations is Halloween; a very popular day of celebration and partying. For some, the day may have little significance – you don’t celebrate it and only look forward to the leftover candy. For others, you really enjoy getting into the spirit of Halloween.
If you’re newly in recovery, celebrating Halloween might look different for you now. While you may have been used to going to parties, clubs, and bars (all events where lots of drinking and drug use can happen), now you have to find alternative activities. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed during Halloween, even if you’re not in recovery. For many, the party culture can be hard to escape.
For families with loved ones in recovery, Halloween can also be an anxious time. Maybe you’re used to throwing parties with alcohol and don’t know what do to now. Maybe you’re just at a loss when it comes to thinking of new ways to celebrate Halloween with your loved one. Fear not, there are many things for people, in recovery or not, to do during the Halloween season that don’t involve drinking or drug use.
1. Be a Host
If you’re dead set about going to a Halloween party, the easiest way to stand by your recovery is by hosting your own. While you might think people won’t want to come to a party without alcohol, you’d be surprised. Family, close friends, friends with little kids, friends who are athletes, and people conscious of their health often don’t care about alcohol at parties or gatherings. When you’re inviting people, depending on you and your recovery, you may feel fine with people bringing a couple of drinks, but you may not. That’s the benefit of hosting a party; it’s your choice. If they’re good friends, they’ll respect your decision.
If throwing a party seems like a stressful, overwhelming idea, there are still many other Halloween activities to do.
2. Pumpkin Carving
Set up an evening where everyone goes to the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins (If you’re on a time crunch, you can get pumpkins ahead of time). Afterwards, everyone carves them together. Make sure to have lots of tools and equipment needed for carving. Usually, this happens before Halloween, but it’s a good way to get into the Halloween spirit.
Here are a few ideas from past pumpkin carving nights at Sunshine Coast Health Centre:
3. Corn Mazes, Haunted Houses, and Bowling
Many cities have some form of a haunted house, corn maze, or haunted tour during October. If you’re into spooky things, this is a great activity to do with friends and family. Bowling is also an easy activity to do with friends and family with most bowling alleys having a Halloween or neon-themed bowling night. This activity appeals to everyone, from little kids to older, less active, friends.
4. Movie Night
Invite some friends over, heat up some popcorn, and watch a scary movie. From new thrillers to classic horror movies, watching scary movies with friends is always fun. This is an easy, budget-friendly option for Halloween. You can also do a movie-themed costume night with everyone dressing up as characters from a movie.
5. Halloween Run
Through addiction treatment, many people become more aware of their health. If you want to incorporate exercise into your Halloween celebrations, a Halloween Fundraiser Run may be just the thing for you. Not all cities do Halloween runs, so make sure to research if there’s a run taking place near you. In recent years, people have dressed up as witches and gone paddle boarding as a fun Halloween-themed way to raise money.
6. Backyard Fires
If you have the space, lawn, and good weather to do it, having a backyard fire may really appeal to you. Set up some chairs around the fire pit, heat up some hot chocolate or hot apple cider, and bring out ingredients for s’mores. Have someone play the guitar or tell scary stories to make the night a true Halloween experience. If you’re looking for a relaxing, chill way to celebrate Halloween, this is a great option for you.
As you can see, there are many things to do for Halloween that don’t involve drinking. It’s time to get creative and rethink how you celebrate! Recovery doesn’t mean an end to having fun.
At Sunshine Coast Health Centre, we help motivated individuals address concerns with mental health and/or addiction. Our team of professionals helps clients rediscover what is personally meaningful to them through counselling, workshops, and group therapy. If you or someone you know is struggling, visit our website or contact us today to learn more about our programs and services.