For screams and giggles: Costumes solve stress

Frankly, this whole year has been spooky.

But for these short weeks when caramel apples and spider webs hit differently, spooky season can be a much-needed distraction from an election between Frankenstein and Dracula or a virus that seems nothing short of a witch’s spell.

It’s Halloween, when reality becomes not so important as ghost stories and horror movies. And while cider can’t cure much, it is a wonderful remedy for the Sunday Scaries and the Wednesday Blues.

That’s why this year, I think it’s absolutely vital to pick out a killer costume and make Oct. 31 extra special. Halloween costumes are an important tradition, express personality and provide reprieve from reality.

Historians consider a 2,000-year-old Celtic festival the origin of Halloween costumes, according to CNN Style. During that time, people would dress up in scary costumes to hide from spirits they believed were causing mischief on that night. They would prank each other under the guise of their spooky outfit.

The ritual has evolved since then into dressing as a favorite film star or matching couples costumes. Traditions like this are super important to maintaining the kind of cozy normalcy that boosts mental wellbeing. Could any kid imagine a year without any hint of Halloween? That would certainly feel unusual in the yearly flow of holidays.

If you’re committing to this custom, you’ve got to make it your own style (bonus if you tie in your mask with the theme.) Self-expression is one of the reasons why costumes are vital. 

If you’re in a relationship, you can express that connection in a salt and pepper or deer and hunter costume. If you like to be silly, consider a punny costume like “holy guacamole” or being a “dunkin’ doughnut.” If you adore gore, Pennywise or Freddie Kreuger could be for you. If you are always hanging with your BFFs, a group costume of Charlie’s Angels or pac-man theme would be perfect.

The key point to remember is to use the costume to embrace your personality and your relationships. I think embracing your personality in a Halloween costume will let you separate yourself from day-to-day stresses and make this 31st a reason to relax.

After months of non-stop schoolwork, safety protocols and mandatory meetings, Halloween costumes this year should be your reprieve from reality. I’d sure rather pretend to be the Lorax for a night than continue to be girl-who-has-three-papers-due.

But during these troubling times, finding something (safe) to do once you’ve donned your funny pirate hat might pose problems. Since knocking door-to-door is out of the question, students should chill in their get-up watching Hocus Pocus, having a spooky game night with a couple close friends or video chatting with a favorite youngster to show them your masterful costume.

Whatever you find to do, being a Cowardly Lion or Tigger or whichever costume you choose will only amplify the magic of the night. Dressing up is an essential part of the holiday, so even 2020 shouldn’t draw the shutters of the costume shop.

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