Halloween is a time for trick and treating, dressing up, bobbing for apples, and enjoying the vibrant colours as Autumn sets in.

The announcement of further pandemic restrictions has come as a disappointment to many, as it may feel like traditional seasonal experiences are not available to us. As the long nights are closing in Halloween has often been a fun celebration to keep the spirits alive, and support our mental and emotional wellbeing as the season changes. While the restrictions might have limited the traditional celebrations, all is not lost this Halloween.

By bringing the attractions of the outdoors indoors, getting creative with the space and resources available, and adapting our Halloween traditions we can connect with the spirit of Halloween this year. Being proactive and adapting to the challenge can help us feel more positive, supporting our mental and emotional wellbeing.

Seasonal milestones are an important part of how we experience our year. When these are interrupted it can feel like a loss.

Given how much loss and adjustment many of us have experienced so far this year, finding ways to keep this seasonal milestone alive may bring some much needed enjoyment and nourishment.

Even though this year is presenting a lot of change and restrictions, the excitement of Halloween is not lost, and can be brought to life indoors.

Here are some ideas to help you to connect with the fun, enjoyment, and traditions of Halloween:

Bring the outdoors indoors, and get creative

1. Decorate your home for Halloween

Bring the same colours and festive decorations indoors as you might see trick and treating outdoors. What spooky characters might you meet at Halloween? Imagine the bright colours and textures associated with these costumes and personalities and transfer them inside as colourful, fun decorations. Halloween is an autumnal event, and autumn is associated with vibrant orange, red, green, and gold; any home decorated with this warm and vibrant palette can help set the Halloween mood.

2. Create a mystery treasure hunt indoors for the children (and adults!)

There are many opportunities from outdoor treating that can be reimagined indoors, and if you’re lucky enough to have your own outdoor garden space even better. Remember those games of hide and seek you played as a child? Get those creative thinking caps back on and find cupboards, crevices, cellars, and corners to hide Halloween treats, sweets, and games in. Or create your own treasure map complete with spooky clues, and mysteries to solve. Having a small space doesn’t have to stop you, the novelty of trying to find hiding places and drawing a treasure map can be tons of fun.

3. Organise a virtual get-together

Have a virtual Halloween costume party with friends or family over a video call. Get old school creative by recycling old costumes, clothing, and homewares; that woollen throw could be reimagined into a shawl for an old ghoul. Prizes for the best (and worst!) costumes, you never know what’s tucked away in the attic or buried at the bottom of the wardrobe. Or have you a virtual film club? If you don’t have a virtual club yet, why not create one, starting with a seasonal story, a Halloween Horror or Autumnal Romance to get you in the mood. Put on some popcorn, get out the treats or snacks, and connect with friends and loved ones. Spooky movies are always best enjoyed with friends who can shriek out loud(even virtually) with you!

A final thought; challenges often present new opportunities

As disappointing as it is not to have access to some of the old traditions this year, you just might end up creating new traditions. These unexpected adaptations can become treasured memories and annual connections. If you think it’s too late to organise something, it’s not – it’s just in time.

During time of crisis, things that have always been familiar to us, like seasonal traditions, can feel like a loss when they are not available to us in the same way. Remember, taking small steps to connect with the seasonal outlets and resources that are available to you, no matter how small, can help you to connect with the positive memories and associations of Halloween. You might even end up making new traditions to add to your bag of tricks for the future.