Why Halloween Should Be The Entire Month Of October

Why Halloween Should Be The Entire Month Of October

"It's just a bunch of hocus pocus."
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It’s officially October which only means one thing: Halloween. The one day of the entire year we reach for black lipstick, colored wigs, and imitate our version of a $50 costume we can’t afford in order to be something we aren’t, whether it’s a future occupation, an iconic role model, or a science fictional character. When we were younger, we enthusiastically anticipated going trick-or-treating, carrying our small pumpkin buckets and fresh pillow cases. As adults, we look forward to seasonal booze, endless bowls of office candy, and taking on a different persona and set of responsibilities of our preferred character to Do-It-Yourself. To emphasize, we wait for one day out of an entire 365 days to “let go” of who we are for twenty-four hours and I don’t know about you, but I would love an entire month to be someone different every day.

Here me out. I already struggle deciding on one career path and often I wish I had super abilities that would allow me to try multiple fields simultaneously or freeze time to relieve some of the pressure on time sensitive decision-making. In regards to Halloween, I get an entire day of the year to be anyone I want in any conventional or unconventional stereotypical form which produces a plethora of options that will most likely take me all 365 days to solidify a decision and perfect upon. Instead of deciding upon one character for one day, I propose deciding upon at least four characters for 4-5 days, one for every week of October.

Sounds crazy? Think again. This doesn’t mean you have to spend $50 every time you need another costume, but it would present an opportunity to reuse old costumes needed be rather than the one you buy once and never wear again. It also encourages you to get a bit creative and utilize what you already have in your home to make a costume and save a chunk of change. In addition, various religions celebrate holidays differently and in varying lengths of time. During the Christmas season, Christians participate in Advent and during Easter season, Christians participate in Lent. During Advent, Christians spend the four Sundays prior to Christmas Day preparing for the coming of Jesus into their world. On the other hand, Lent is 40 days leading up to Easter Day in which Christians emphasize the act of fasting and prayer to grow closer to God, often “giving up” an activity or habit to help their growth with God, such as giving up meat every Friday during the Lent season. While I am unaccustomed to Judaism and can’t further elaborate on Jewish practices, I only know that some of the Jewish holidays, such as Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, and Passover, typically last longer than a day. In Islamic faith, Ramadan lasts an entire month. Realistically, Halloween isn’t a religious holiday for Americans today, but in other parts of the world such as Mexico where The Day of the Dead, celebrated on October 31st, centers around gatherings to pray and celebrate the lives of friends and family members who have past in order to support their spiritual journey. In addition, Halloween was originally known as All Saint’s Day and eventually transpired into All Hallows into Halloween. In other words, every holiday, whether religious oriented or not, is celebrated differently, and Halloween is one holiday that needs more than twenty-four hours.

September already kicks off the Autumn season with colors of burgundy, olive, and gold plastered in every aisle of any store. We know Autumn is a time for apple and pumpkin picking, leaves changing, pumpkin-spiced everything, and of course, sweater weather. Now that it’s October, our senses attracted to these activities, scents, and colors are amplified and we rush through the season impatiently waiting for October 31st and argue scientists that it’s Winter by November 1st. We don’t stop to enjoy these moments of fall and we wait for one day that ends rather quickly. So what would every week look like if we extended Halloween and embraced the fall season? Halloween would still be the 31st, and would be celebrated on October 1st as well, the first and last day of the month. I also propose to have it every year on Columbus Day, aka the day Columbus discovered a land that was already inhabited (I reserve the right to withhold my further opinion on Columbus Day). Halloween would only be celebrated once a week, not twice, so the other celebratory day or two would fall according to Columbus Day. As for trick-or-treating? Let’s keep it to the 31st only. Some don’t enjoy pestering strangers knocking on their front door all day and night for candy, understandably, and it can be dangerous at night on this holiday.

Now, retail stores start selling Halloween décor, costumes, and candy starting mid-September, so I know the Halloween and business industries are on board here. Each work place, however, might have a difference of opinion or ideas, so I leave it up to each individual office to decide how they would celebrate each of those days, if they choose to partake at all Who wouldn’t enjoy a healthy competition of themed costume work days, though? If it were my office, I would love to take each holiday, such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, etc. and turn it into a Halloween themed day each week. For example, on our “Hallow Valentine’s Day”, we’d have black and orange candy hearts everywhere.

As I mentioned earlier, Halloween allows you to be who you want and the ability to let go of who you are and what expectations you have on yourself as well as the expectations placed on you by someone else is freeing. For avid make-up lovers like myself, Halloween is also an excuse to play around with the black lipstick I mentioned earlier and the bright and dark in my eye shadow palettes I might not normally wear on a “work day.” I won’t turn this into a rant about wearing makeup for only me and in the way only I want, but I will say Halloween does encourage this and for some, it yields a feeling of confidence to be able to wear makeup at all or in a style they might not typically indulge. Halloween may be seen as a necessary escape from yourself, but I like to view it as a chance to embrace a different side of yourself because the person you are is still beautiful, whether it’s covered by a costume mask or a superficial mask.

Cover Image Credit: Patricia Aglio

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Keep Your Wellbeing On Track This Summer With These 5 Health Hacks

Don't waste your time off, use it!

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Summertime is here, and for many of us, these three months of vacation mean more room for slacking off with our usual health routines. Between sleeping in through the morning gym alarm, and consuming too many tempting party foods and drinks, it is easy to fall into a euphoria of laziness and lose health as a top priority.

Here's the good news — believe it or not, summer is actually the easiest time of the year to get and stay in killer shape because of all of the extra time you have!

Here are some tips and tricks to get you started.

1. Try using the five-to-two rule.

It's easy to forget the difference between weekdays and weekends during summer when every day feels the same. But sometimes it is actually helpful to be aware of what day of the week it is. Just like you would do in school, try to stay on track during weekdays. Wake up at a reasonable time, exercise, find ways to be productive throughout the day, and be conscious of eating healthy. This way when the weekend rolls around, if you choose to indulge in sleeping in, or going out and having a few extra drinks, it's more acceptable than choosing to do so every single night. You will feel more in control, and trust me, your body will thank you for the moderation.

2. Skip the junk food and embrace the fresh seasonal produce.

Summer is the season where all of the nutrient-dense fruits and veggies are in their prime season. Take advantage of this! Skip the fast food, and try cooking since you now cannot use the excuse that you don't have time! Go to the grocery to stock up on fresh produce. There is nothing better than homemade, healthy food, and with so much time on your hands why not try some fun new recipes? Cooking is actually really enjoyable and rewarding. Here are some of my favorite healthy summertime recipes that keep my body feeling fresh and energized.

Healthy green smoothie

Quinoa Salad

Chia Pudding

Salmon and Apple Kale Salad

3. If you're tired of the gym, try alternative forms of exercise. 

Whether it is hiking, kayaking, swimming, or playing a family game of kickball, summer presents you with many more fun active opportunities than the colder, rainier months of the year. Take advantage of that if you are getting bored or unmotivated sitting in a stuffy gym.

4. Build a new routine.

During the school year, we all fall into a fairly consistent routine. We have classes at the same time every week, we have responsibilities, deadlines, and all of those other things that may seem pesky but actually, serve in giving our lives some major structure. For many of us, that structure is much needed. When summer arrives and suddenly we don't have those obligations calling us to get up and be productive, we fall into a slump of doing nothing. That's when it is helpful to set a new routine. Our bodies like routine and regularity and the best part about a summer routine is that you set it how you like it.

How do I build a new routine? Decide on a general bed and wake up time, at least for weekdays. Choose which days of the week you will exercise and stick to them! Plan out your week at the beginning of the week. I like to keep a weekly calendar. Before the week begins I write down all of the things I would like to get done that week and place them on the days I plan to do them. You can even write down your plans with friends or social events.

5.. In general, spend time outside.

Did you know that spending time in the sunshine and fresh air actually has an impact on your health? Nature can boost our moods, make us feel more energized and productive. And everyone knows that a healthy mindset leads to a healthier life. The great thing about summer is that we have endless opportunities to be outside because of the close weather. You can really take almost any activity you want and move it outside. Even as I sit here writing this blog I am sitting outside on our beautiful porch looking out over a lake.

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