Letter From the Publisher August 2021
As hard as this might be to believe, another back-to-school season is just around the corner, and with an increase in COVID-19 vaccinations, most children and college students will return to campus fully once again. Across the Suncoast, families are transitioning back into the daily routines of school, homework, extracurricular activities and athletic games.
No doubt, this is a hectic time of year—so in the midst of all the busyness, it’s crucial to prioritize both wellness and happiness however you can. In this month’s issue of Natural Awakenings, we want to help you achieve that healthy balance in a practical, accessible way. So read on for a glimpse of what we have in store for you below!
On that note, our feature article for this issue is all about how to “Boost Happiness and Well-Being.” As a culture, we know from 20 years of research that intentional, consistent shifts in both our thoughts and actions will rewire the brain to focus on positive emotions and reframe negative experiences into lessons we can use for growth. This article dives further into this research to discuss how rituals such as self-compassion, meditation, prayer, gratitude, mindfulness, and a willingness to question painful assumptions can increase both your wellness and happiness quotients in all areas of life.
Another aspect of wellness that cannot be overlooked is nutrition. When the human body receives quality, nutrient-rich whole foods on a regular basis, this positively affects the brain as well. Nourishment can enhance your mood state, cognitive function and emotional regulation, so what you choose to eat influences not only health—but happiness too. This time of year, there is no shortage of nutritious produce to fill your plate with, and our “Conscious Eating” article explores how you can preserve these fruits and vegetables to last all season. You’ll learn strategies for how to marinate, pickle, dehydrate or even make canned jellies.
Finally, how can we discuss back-to-school season without mentioning the children in our lives who will soon strap on their backpacks and venture into new classrooms? This month’s “Healthy Kids” article focuses on how parents or guardians can support their children as the school year calendar resumes. An established weeknight bedtime, a family sit-down conversation to iron out schedules and priorities, and an emphasis on healthy breakfasts and lunch to sustain their energy levels can help to minimize stress and maximize academic success.
As usual, dear readers, this is just a mere snapshot of all the enlightenment and inspiration you’ll find within this issue. Please reach out with any comments, questions or feedback to [email protected], and on behalf of the entire Natural Awakenings team, thank you for allowing us to be part of each season in your lives month after month!