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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Letter From the Publisher November 2022

In this nation, the month of November is traditionally a time to express gratitude, but after such a tumultuous past few years, some of us might feel more anxious than grateful. It can be hard to count our blessings when stress levels are high, and our mental health seems fragile—but it’s important to honor these emotions, rather than simply brushing them aside.   

This issue of Natural Awakenings is all about tending to our mental and emotional wellness with practical, intentional coping mechanisms to relieve anxiety and re-access inner peace. Whatever circumstances are unfolding in your life right now—whether it’s a season of abundance or a season of difficulty—we hope you will find a breath of fresh air in these pages. And just maybe, a spark of joyfulness and gratitude will be lit inside you once again!  

To begin this mental health journey, our feature article is all about “Staying Serene in Turbulent Times: How to Turn Anxiety into Positive Action.” As our society faces an onslaught of climate crises, political division, economic inflation and the long-term effects of COVID-19, it’s no surprise that our collective anxiety has reached a fever pitch. Nearly 85 percent of Americans are worried about this country’s future, and 70 percent are concerned about the impact of environmental issues on our way of life (Yale University). These challenges are complicated, but we still can take action if we use anxiety as fuel for change. So we must build the resilience for making a difference. This starts with lifestyle choices such as investing in therapy, limiting social media consumption, finding positive news sources and prioritizing self-care.   

To delve further into the topic of anxiety—and how to alleviate it—our “Healing Ways” article for this month offers 12 simple and actionable strategies to bolster mental well-being. All of these can be practiced on a consistent, daily basis to ensure that anxiety will not interfere with our activities, goals, routines and overall functionality. Some of the strategies mentioned in this article include: exercising in nature, deep breathing, praying in one’s faith tradition, journaling, tapping (with the Emotional Freedom Technique), meditating, taking nutritional supplements, listening and moving to music, exposing oneself to cold water, feeling rooted in the present, bonding with an animal, and accepting the anxiety instead of repressing it.  

 

Chances are, you’ve heard the phrase, “You are what you eat,” but are you aware that connection goes deeper than just physical health? In this issue’s “Conscious Eating” article, we explore how the brain and gut interact with each other, causing the food we consume to impact our moods. 90 percent of serotonin––a neurotransmitter that helps stabilize emotions––is created in the gut, which means that any nutrient deficiencies or imbalances can throw off the gut-brain connection, leading to anxiety, depression or other mental health issues (The Second Brain). Whole foods can lift our moods naturally, while foods with preservatives, refined sugars, and other artificial chemicals or ingredients can cause them to plummet. This article also features three recipes: a quinoa beetroot salad, almond flour blueberry muffins and a gut-friendly smoothie. 

 

As per usual this month, we invite you to participate in our crossword puzzle challenge. Look for clues within this issue, then check your answers at NASRQ.com. We know this time of year can be stressful or anxiety-inducing, but we strive to be a source of wellness, peace, restoration and enlightenment for you in the midst of life’s hectic pace. So on that note, we’ll see you back here next month when the holiday season is in full-swing! 

 

February 2023 Digital Edition

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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