Halloween and Habits

Halloween is in a few days and some us are making sure our kids costume’s are ready, they have their Halloween bag and making any desserts their class has assigned you.

If you don’t have kids then you are probably are having a Halloween potluck at work. You may be bringing your signature dessert or main dish that you make every year.

Whatever you are doing to prepare for Halloween, it is part of a tradition. Halloween speaks to the kid in us. We love dressing up, being with our friends and trick or treating our neighborhood.

I quickly think back to my days when I was young and trick or treating. I use to take off the pillowcase from my pillow (it was one of those long ones) and me, my friends and cousins would hit the “good homes” you know, the homes that would give you an extra scoop of candy or large candy bars. We wanted to make sure we get their early before they were all gone.

After a couple hours, we would run back to someone’s home dump our candy out on to the table and waiting for an adult to inspect it. My mother would remind me every year, “Don’t eat one piece of candy until an adult goes through it because you don’t know if someone put a razor in it.” Though that was very morbid, it scared me so much I would hand over my bag quickly like it was a bomb to get as far away from it.

After I got the ‘All clear’ I would run towards that pile, licking my lips… the anticipation of eating candy at 7 at night and with my mom’s permission was the ultimate experience any kid like me could have.

These memories are so vivid it’s like they just happen yesterday. They have a strong emotional connection for me. You know, even today I get all giddy just having a few pieces of Halloween candy.

You are probably thinking, it is nice to read about your happy childhood on Halloween but what is this blog all about? Glad you ask and thank you for the comment on my childhood.

What I am saying with my story is as adults we have habits that have been engrained into us as far back to our childhood. Using my story, you see how every year I knew what I was going to do on Halloween night; getting my trusty long pillowcase, who I was going with, what houses I was going to go first, make sure an adult look through my candy and then that magical moment eating the candy.

When we are trying to change a habit, it is not easy because our brain has made an association that this habit is a pleasurable one and so we should continue repeating this over and over again. Our habits has a strong hold on us and when we are in the midst of changing them, our brain and mind are trying to steer us back to that pleasurable moment with thoughts like “Just take a few more pieces, they are little” or “I can go back on my diet tomorrow.” 

When we do give in, we treat our selves (not in a good way) with negative self-talk. So what can you do? First, treat yourself with compassion and kindness, this goes a long way. Second, your brain is doing its job and keeping you safe (staying in your comfort zone), and third have a plan in conquering your cravings. I love frozen chocolate cover sliced bananas. Halloween is a good starting point to change a not so healthy habit during the holidays with healthy ones. Have a fun and safe Halloween!