Letter From the Publisher October 2020
This year, the word “stress” has taken on a brand-new meaning. As a culture, we have faced a global pandemic, racial tensions, economic uncertainty and social disconnection. In the months we have been isolated to protect one another’s physical health, many of us have noticed our mental health begin to deteriorate from loneliness, anxiety, fear or depression.
The stress of our world is acute right now, and with the holiday season just around the corner, our lives are about to take another turn for the hectic. This is why Natural Awakenings’ October issue focuses on the importance of stress management and how to build it into the rhythms of our new collective normal. So on that note, join me as we peek inside this issue.
Our feature article for this month is “Body-Mind Approaches to Stress Management.” This delves into both the mental and physiological reactions to a stressful event or piece of news and how various forms of holistic self-care can help restore the mind and body into a state of calm. Tools such as Reiki, meditation, essential oils, breathwork, exercise, intuitive eating or relational support can all be useful to maintain balance in a climate of stress.
While on the subject of alternative techniques to manage stress, this month’s “Fit Body” article explores the ancient restorative practices of tai chi and qigong. These martial arts combine rhythmic movements with deep breaths in order to re-energize the body’s life force, known as “qi.” Not only does this reinforce mental clarity and wellness, it also has physical benefits such as increased heart, lung and immune function too.
Finally, with school back in session and many adolescents forced to maneuver this pandemic in addition to the usual turbulence and confusion of their teenage years, our “Healthy Kids” article sheds light on how to support these stressed out teens. Mental health issues can be rampant in this stage of life as they deal with family and friend dynamics, work to maintain a solid GPA, compare themselves to others on social media, and worry about the future of this world they’ll inherit. So as this article points out, it’s crucial for the adults in their lives to listen without judgment, model self-compassion, and encourage creative pursuits and community activism. This is a formative time for the next generation, after all.
Although 2020 has been a difficult year, we remain in it together, and I hope that solidarity comes through in this issue. As always, please direct any comments, questions or feedback to [email protected], and here’s to better stress management this October!