Our January issue is always woven around a theme of health and wellness. But how do we write about wellness in the middle of an ongoing pandemic — without belaboring the obvious?
Sometimes, I consider our young kids with their masks and excellent hand-washing skills and feel so in awe of how well they appear to have adjusted. They are growing up in a world where the sharing of food and drinks is a no-no, where thoughts about another person’s sneeze or cough are laced with fear and suspicion. As parents, we’ve tried to create safe and normal spaces for them, but I hate when I can hear a panicked shrill in my voice when I see my own child touch the handrails in a public place.
Will this pandemic (and our responses to it) produce a generation of people with extreme obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and other anxieties, or are we raising a group of children who will be unstoppable in their pursuit of research and fact and medical breakthroughs? I imagine the number of today’s kids who will become doctors, nurses and medical researchers will be exponentially high. Of course, both can be true: One can develop certain behavior patterns because of trauma and, at the same time, pursue brilliant work and causes.
For this issue, we decided to focus on wellness issues that can fall by the wayside when something as all-consuming as a pandemic is at work. We speak with a pediatric psychiatrist about how to continue monitoring our children’s mental health — and when and how to seek help; with author Peggy Orenstein about how to talk to boys about sex; with a urologist about how we can take care of our sexual health as women and with several experts about how to help our kids develop a healthy body image — while still often navigating our own.
The new year is sure to find us contemplating how we want to improve on last year. Spending more time in nature is always a good dose of medicine, and writer Tonilyn Hornung offers some great suggestions in her “Let Nature Renew You” piece, while the beloved Justina Blakeney, founder of Jungalow, gives us some great tips on how to take care of house plants. Our cover model, Ellen Bennett, a cook, author, new mom and founder of a kitchen staff uniform business, blesses us with her abuelita’s Mexican chicken soup recipe for the ultimate comfort food, and I share a peek at my family’s first cruise, which was a refreshing getaway.
We’re back on the cerebral end of things with author and professor Nefertiti Austin’s look at critical race theory — what it is, what it isn’t and how local educators should prepare to teach it in our kids’ classrooms.
Our digital editor Nina Harada has rounded up a fabulous events calendar to help you ring in 2022 with a sense of joy, appreciation, curiosity and celebration. These, too, are the ingredients that aid us in our journey to wellness.
Happy new year!