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Holiday Thrival Guide

Mind KEY / Issues  / Holiday Thrival Guide
Seasonal tips to thrive this holiday

Thriving through the holidays: Tips for a well-balanced holiday season

by Cris McCullough & the Mind Key Editor Team We have all survived a year filled with challenges and now another challenge looms...

Winter healing with white pine

White pine medicine: Not just holiday magic

by Artemis Body & Soul Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus) of the family Pinaceae is ideal for winter healing, predominately, because it can be gathered anytime of the year. Often branches of white pine are felled during winter storms, and as long as the needles are still green, it’s good to use. Plus, their medicinal and spiritual uses in boosting immunity and battling congestion and coughs while supporting the lungs comes in handy during the holiday and cold/flu season. So does its spiritual abilities to help the body move through grief, sadness and situations that require a peacemaker. Identifying the winter healer  Identifying white pine starts with recognizing the long bluish-green needles. Look closer, the needles are long and “flowy.” At an even closer look, you should notice...

DIY cold and flu remedy made from pine

A Warming Elixir for surviving the Winter Blues

by Karen Talbot, wild gardener The fragrance wafting up from my hot cup of tea conjures up favorite evergreen memories as I write. I can still smell the balsam firs where we camped in New Hampshire years ago; discovering a magnificent blue spruce on a South County RI trail; and the pleasure of harvesting pine needles for this cup of tea outside my door. Pines are also my medicine for preventing and easing the symptoms of a cold and cough, building  the immune system, and especially preventing the flu. This DIY pine cough and flu remedy is a great herbal solution to survive winter and can be made with almost any evergreen available to you. Pine: It’s not just about holiday memories Evergreen needles are the main ingredient...

digestive bitters are a natural upset stomach cure

Preempt holiday indulgences with a bottle of bitters

Bitters are an essential addition to my holiday survival toolkit. I will stash a bottle into my smallest purse rather than brave a dinner party without it. This article from Nature’s Goodness in Newport Rhode Island gives an overview this natural upset stomach cure, discussing the history of bitters as a cocktail ingredient, how they work, and where they can be found in foods. by Patty Lenz Bovie for Nature's Goodness Bitters are alcohol-based extracts of bark, roots, berries, leaves, or flowers of bitter-tasting plants. Known for the essential role they play in signature cocktails, they burst with a range of aromatic flavors such as zesty orange, tarragon spice, and nutty coffee. But taste is not their only perk. Research has shown that bitters may also be...

journaling to create a holiday memory book

More than just memories: A holiday memory book can heal

by student writer, Josephine Belliveau Creating a holiday memory book can be a great way to commemorate the treasured moments we experience over the holiday season. Most people make scrapbooks that are decorated pages with pictures. However, sometimes pictures don’t do the valuable memories we never want to forget justice. A holiday memory book combines scrapbooking and journaling to bring peace and calm to your holiday traditions. By adding the aspects of daily journaling, you’re turning a scrapbook into a memory book that’s unique to add to your family history. Bringing the holidays alive with stories and anecdotes. You’re recounting these memories with not only pictures but with words.  Creating a holiday memory book tradition Every family has their own traditions and ways to celebrate the holidays, some...

Get what you want this holiday

Getting What We Want From Others

Did you know that you can get what you want from others this holiday without falling into the expectation trap? When we rely on ourselves, rather than others, to achieve our goals, we become more empowered, independent, and generally take better care of ourselves. Wendy Watson-Hallowell, professional and corporate Belief Coach, offers a different perspective on how to get what we want from others by changing our own behavior and attitude.  by The Belief Coach, Wendy Watson-Hallowell Why do we rarely get what we want from others, even when we give our all? What if we could never count on getting what we wanted from others? How would that have us feel? Hopeless? Powerless? Despondent? For many of us, this is what it felt like as children,...

Create boundaries for toxic family holiday survival

Tips for thriving with toxic family this holiday

by Danielle Rose Holidays can be tough on families. Getting everyone together in one room has the potential to trigger even the most well adjusted. Sometimes the most obvious choice for holiday survival with toxic family is the most difficult: avoid gatherings where the family member will be. As Rachel Zoffness Ph.D. wrote in her 2019 article in Psychology Today, your time is precious, and sometimes that most precious commodity is better spent elsewhere than navigating bad behavior.  When that isn’t possible, boundaries and action plans can save the day. “There’s this idea that holiday gatherings with family are supposed to be joyful and stress-free,” says Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness in a WebMD article on stress management over the...

reduce stress with yoga this holiday

Take Five and Thrive: Yoga for reducing stress

by Sara Sundance Imagine navigating the holiday season with a sense of calm and presence? As wild as that idea sounds, it is not only possible but also incredibly simple. Carve out five minutes from your busy holiday schedule and assume this restorative legs up the wall yoga pose to reduce stress and bring calm. Integrate breathwork, you will quickly relax your body and quiet your mind.  This easy combination of Legs-Up-The-Wall Yoga pose and Box Breathing can make a big impact on your stress levels, and restore a sense of calm. Five minutes to reduce stress with yoga this holiday For the Legs-Up-The-Wall Yoga Pose, find a clear wall space and two blankets. 1. Sit with your side against the wall and knees bent. 2. Swing your legs up against...

Domestic violence support during the holidays can help women in need

How to be an active bystander

by Jessica Walsh, Executive Director, Women’s Resource Center The problem of domestic violence can often be overlooked amid the distractions of the holiday season. The Women’s Resource Center sees this year after year and unfortunately, the pandemic has further compounded these problems. In this article, we go over what you can do to provide domestic violence support during the holidays, whether it’s how to identify domestic violence, or becoming an active bystander and what to do if someone you know discloses abuse.  Domestic violence explained Especially for survivors of domestic violence, we know home is not always a safe place. While toxic family situations and domestic abuse can be interconnected, it’s important to note domestic violence is distinctly different from toxic issues with family members. Violence is defined by...

Replenish your energy and thrive with this guided cord cutting meditation

by Sierra Vandervort Do you need a bit of rest? Maybe you feel as if you’re giving so much energy away, and never taking the time to refill your own cup. If so, then a cord cutting meditation may be able to help you. Cord cutting is a form of meditation that uses energy attunement and visualization practices to aid in closing energy leakages and promote spiritual healing. Visualization as a tool for energy and attunement  In this meditation, we call to mind all the many ways we are giving away our energy; from the most obvious forms such as work, family and daily tasks, to the subtlest pieces like stress, jealousy or defenses. Then, through focused breathing and some guided visualizations, we work to find harmony and...

nutrients to sleep better

Don’t lose sleep this holiday: Nutrients for better sleep

Sleep disorders go beyond just insomnia. They can encompass any number of conditions, including oversleeping. The stress of the holidays can sometimes add to sleep issues, only compounding stress and reducing immunity, continuing the sleep dysfunction cycle. The good news is that there are plenty of nutrients that can improve sleep naturally. A Market of Newport, Rhode Island’s “Natural Insights for Well-Being” newsletter references The Journal of Nutrition 2021 article for some easily found alternatives for better sleep. What are sleep disorders? There are many, but the four most common are insomnia, sleep apnea (a temporary halt to breathing), irregular sleep-wake cycles and restless leg syndrome. Doctors also consider a sleep disorder regularly getting more than nine, or less than seven hours of sleep a night. Compared...

Ancient christmas traditions

Light the darkness: Grasp the Common Spirit of Holiday Traditions

By Cris McCullough Ho! Ho! Ho! It is Christmastide, Hunnakah, Dwali, Los Posadas, Kwanzaa… The world over, there are some sort of holiday traditions for hope and celebration of light and generosity, during this festive time of year. We associate the season with so many traditions—decorating a Christmas tree with lights, placing candles in the window, parties and the giving of presents… and ultimately a deep-seated belief in Santa, a jolly old fat man with a bottomless bag of gifts who can fly through the air and visit the entire world in one night! Holiday Miracles! Besides being made famous by Clement Moore’s beloved poem, The Night Before Christmas, these holiday traditions stretch back across time and continents, and ultimately point to an annual astronomical phenomenon,...

Make eco-friendly and sustainable choices this holiday season

By Sandra Yeyati Several holiday traditions, while bringing joy to people, can also cause harm to the environment. The endless amount of paper used for wrappings, certain gifts being made of non-renewable material, and decorations that use a lot of electricity all can be detrimental to Earth in the long run. Strategic action is necessary in order to help this issue. Thankfully, advancements in technology have given us the opportunity to be able to celebrate the holidays while maintaining harm reduction. This Natural Awakenings article by Sandra Yeyati shows how you can engage in sustainable choices during the holidays, which includes eco-friendly decorating and responsible gifting. Greening the Holidays: How to Celebrate Sustainably With every record-setting storm and catastrophic fire, more people are realizing that we are embroiled...

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