Letter From the Publisher November 2021
Well, another holiday season is upon us—and while it can be a joyous, festive occasion to count our blessings and reconnect with those we love, it can also be a time of loss. As we reflect on those who are no longer here to celebrate with us or the changes we’ve experienced to make the holidays feel much different now than they felt in the past, waves of grief or bittersweet emotions can rise to the surface. It’s been an undeniably tough couple years for all of us, so in this month’s issue of Natural Awakenings, we want to hold space for both the heaviness and lightness that accompanies this season.
The events of both 2020 and 2021 have reinforced just how precious and fleeting human life truly is, but the topic of death continues to be a source of anxiety and even stigma in our culture. This fear of death often means that we defer important end-of-life plans and conversations with our loved ones, which makes the dying process itself more stressful for everyone affected. So in this month’s feature article, “Dying Well,” we want to help de-stigmatize the subject and relieve some of that anxiety. No one wants to dwell on mortality, but as this pandemic has taught us, it’s essential to cherish the moments we do have with those we care about, while planning ahead for those crucial discussions when the time comes.
Of course, while we’re still here on this planet, there are many wellness interventions we can practice to maintain longevity as much as possible. Caring for our brain health is one effective method to protect against decline, and that’s exactly what our “Healing Ways” article dives into this month. Functional medicine practitioners have found that strong neuroplasticity keeps the brain agile and sharp which, in turn, helps the body as a whole to function optimally. Strategies to increase neuroplasticity and overall brain health include eating nutritious foods, exercising consistently, reducing inflammation and stress levels, balancing hormones, cultivating healthy relationships, flushing out toxins and prioritizing restorative sleep.
Finally, let’s lighten the mood by shifting our focus over to Thanksgiving—because what’s a November issue without any mention of this quintessential holiday, right? Across the U.S., Thanksgiving is known as one of the most delicious, food-centric days on the calendar, but with some assistance from our “Conscious Eating” article, this year’s celebration can be delicious and nutritious. This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate traditional favorites from the Thanksgiving table, but alongside those classic dishes, serve an abundance of fresh, seasonal vegetables for a boost in vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients. We even reduced some of the meal planning for you with a sidebar of healthy recipes to choose form.
No matter what emotions this holiday season might evoke in you—excitement, heartache or somewhere in between—please remember to be gentle with your own mental and physical wellness. This time of year can be stressful and hectic, after all. I hope the content within these pages fills you with a silver lining of inspiration, and in the spirit of gratitude, our whole team here at Natural Awakenings is so thankful that you continue to allow us to be a source of enlightenment in your personal wellness journey.