Lose the mask this Halloween
With Halloween coming this weekend, it felt like a good time to discuss the importance of being yourself. Halloween is fun, we dress up in costumes and masks and pretend to be someone or something we are not. This tradition is thought to date way back almost 2000 years ago to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain however It wasn’t until the early 1900’s that Halloween as we know it started to take place. According to Lesley Bannatyne, as costume wearing grew in popularity, masks and cover-ups came to be seen as means to get away with things. Nobody can see underneath those costumes and masks so really; we could be anyone at all.Despite Halloween only being once a year, some of us are wearing masks every day. They are of course only metaphorical but mentally they can feel very real to the person wearing it. Many of us wear these masks to cover up how we really feel or to fit in with a group of peers. Sometimes it may feel easier to act or portray yourself in a certain way, so you conform to the perceived norms of a group. This is not a healthy way to live your life and will often lead to feeling like you don’t fit in or that you’re the odd one out. Whilst it might be hard at first, there are ways you can avoid feeling like this which will inevitably lead to happier and healthier relationships with others and most importantly feeling less stressed and more comfortable with your peers.
Surround yourself with positive / like-minded people – Surrounding yourself with people who you feel share similar interests and beliefs to yourself can be a huge help when learning to be comfortable in yourself. Positive and like-minded people who support and accept us for who we are make it so much easier to be comfortable in our own skin. Remember, it’s more important to have a good and meaningful connection with a few people than to have meaningless relationships with many.
Self-Acceptance, Stop comparing yourself with others – It’s very easy nowadays to compare ourselves with others, especially as we are bombarded with each other’s lives through social media. It might seem that everyone else is having more fun or living a more interesting life than you but mostly, people are very selective with how the portray themselves online. Online presence can often be a mask in itself which covers up anything that might be wrong in their lives.
Taking off your mask and finally being comfortable as yourself will always feel daunting at first but remember that everyone is unique in their own way. Accepting ourselves and surrounding ourselves with those who accept us can lead to a happier and healthier life and state of mind. Being proud of yourself is essential for your self-esteem and development as a person. Nobody is perfect and for the most part we are all in the same boat, trying to figure it out together.