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Why I Went With "A Garden In The Night Time": A Halloween Story Of Self-Reg And Laughter

Halloween dysregulates me. I know this.

  • Maybe it's the change in routine, with expectations around a party, and in years previous, around a parade.

  • Maybe it's about the need to dress up, and the difficulties with trying to create a calm environment when the room is full of superheroes, villains, witches, and princesses.

  • Maybe it's because of the student stress around "ruined costumes," and all of the difficulties that this presents when it comes to sensory play and playing outside on a cold day.

  • Maybe it's because of all of the scary and gory costumes and decorations. As much as I love to read suspense books and mysteries, I'm terrified of scary movies and television shows. Seeing a bunch of slasher character masks yesterday were enough to cause panic, especially after my recent read of The Mary Shelley Club. I hate this feeling ... and "hate" is a strong word.

  • And maybe it's because it's often our most challenging kids, who like me crave a normal routine, that struggle the most on Halloween. When I hear about behaviour problems around the school or see children that rarely cry break into unconsolable sobs, it breaks my heart. It breaks it more when I know that it's the nature of this holiday and all that comes from it that dysregulated these kids. These children need our calm more than anything, and on this day, it's taking everything in me to find my own calm.

It's with all of this in mind that yesterday morning, before school started, I posted this selfie on Instagram along with an anecdote from my interactions with some students in Before Care.

As you can see in the comments, many people found this post amusing. It was the numerous laughter/tears emoji faces that helped me think about my important Self-Reg strategy on a stressful day: I laugh. I search for humorous moments and find that inner-giddy feeling that always makes me feel better. I've never really thought about the restorative nature of laughter, but I did yesterday. Does laughing work for you? How do you create your own belly laughing moments? Yesterday, I needed that sweet release, and maybe on Monday morning, after children have been up late trick-or-treating the night before, I'll need it even more. I wonder if I could continue my night time theme and dress up as a nap instead. :) We all might need one.


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