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Natural Awakenings Westchester / Putnam / Dutchess New York

Publisher's Letter for December 2021

Nov 30, 2021 09:44PM ● By Dana Boulanger

Hello, December.
Goodbye, 2021.

After the isolation most of us have experienced over the past two years, it’s clear that staying connected with friends and family is key to our health and happiness. No wonder that in the coldest, darkest time of year, humans have traditionally gathered to celebrate. This month’s article “Season of Light: Celebrating the Soul of Winter” page 40, discusses this deep craving for connection and introspection. It invites us to use this season to treat our senses, to find what soothes us through the long winter months. For some of us, family provides a much-needed social circle; others rely on friends, co-workers and community organizations. Social media and meet-up groups, along with tools like Zoom, provide plenty of ways to connect. Whether you’re gathering in person or online, all that matters is that it works for you.

I’m blessed to have numerous forever friends—girlfriends I’ve journeyed with for more than 35 years—as well as a wonderful business partner, Marilee Burrell. I enjoy  my loving and supportive family, and I feel lucky to have met several new friends over the past  few years who have become dear to my heart. All these people continue to kindle my happiness. Our feature article “Circles of Healing: The Power of Gathering in Community,” page 30, addresses people’s feelings of isolation and separation these days, and how finding creative ways to connect helps us maintain our happiness. Intentionally gathering, so that we feel part of a greater cause, can be soothing to the soul.

This past year I moved to a  hiker’s  paradise. I’m surrounded by nearly 2,000 preserved acres, with miles of hiking trails accessible just outside my front door, so fresh air and exercise are mine for the taking. I had set three goals for 2021: try 52 new recipes, read 12 books and hike 52 new trails. I exceeded the first two. I’ve decided that for 2022, I will keep these same three goals to support my health and happiness, but I’ve tweaked them slightly. For example I hope to try 52 healthier recipes, to keep finding new authors that entertain and inspire me, and to begin strength-training exercises to improve my bone health.

I’m looking forward to another year of harnessing my health and happiness. I’m ready—are you? This month’s magazine will help, with terrific articles on how to boost your immune system, how to keep connected with others, how to enjoy a mindful—and low-sugar—holiday season, and even how to choose the best books for kids. Be sure to check out the upcoming local events on our monthly print calendar, starting on page 46. You can visit the calendar on our website,, for even more area happenings.

Next month we’ll kick off the New Year with our 11th annual Natural Living Directory, an all-year-long go-to resource in which we will profile local practitioners, wellness centers, authors, farmers, chefs and more.

Stay healthy and happy,