Sometimes when I am having a hard day, I like to imagine all of the readers and contributors of Natural Awakenings standing around in a giant circle, participating in a huge group hug. This month, I’ve had a couple of those days.
The social psychology shows I’m not alone—the holiday season, for all its cheer, can feel quite the opposite of “cheery”. Those in the mental health professions attest to November and December being among the most challenging times of the year, as people navigate family occasions, the extra costs associated with holiday food, décor and gift-giving, and shorter days with less exposure to the outdoors.
This year we add the emotional aftermath of the election—whomever you voted for, it’s impossible not to be affected in some way by the fear and animosity that’s been evoked by America’s deeply divided political life.
It’s in times like these that we most need our community. Our aim in this issue, Mental Health for the Holidays, is to be present to our own sorrow and that of others, and to shine some light into the darkness by providing resources for healing worried minds, broken hearts and wounded spirits.
In addition to spotlighting a handful of the excellent local organizations and practitioners who provide mental health support in our area, we’ve included a survey of the modern mental health landscape, including integrative, complementary and holistic approaches that have grown in popularity and are being increasingly recognized for their efficacy, like Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (dTMS), Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), biofeedback and nutritional counseling, among others. Our intention is to educate our readers about the range of treatment options available now that were either not widely popularized or not readily available in years past. The Natural Awakenings community in BuxMont is rich with skilled, trained, enthusiastic purveyors of these modalities, and they are accessible a short distance from where you and your loved ones work, play and live.
On the lighter side, we have palate-pleasing recipes for all ages. Sugar-free tasty treats for kids and healthier drinks for adults, like a Meyer’s Lemon Hot Toddy, are sure to revive and restore. Plus, there’s some fun ideas about how to bring the elements indoor for a festive, naturally inspired holiday setting. You also don’t want to miss the interview with popular radio show host Kristin Tippett from On Being, and the article on adrenal fatigue, which is affecting so many who feel they are “running on empty”.
I wish you a rich and meaningful holiday season. Know that this community is filled with people, approaches and practices that will support you in mind, body and spirit in this season and all seasons.
Together, we are “Making the Awakening”,
Karen G. Meshkov