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Story Ideas for the Holiday Season

Posted by Communications and Marketing on December 7, 2020 in News

The holiday season is upon us and there is no denying that this year will be unlike any other. The global pandemic has required us to get a bit creative in how we celebrate and honour our traditions, while adhering to public health and safety protocols throughout the holidays and into the New Year.  We have put together a list of experts who can speak to festive topics (with a unique pandemic lens), that will be of interest to your audiences during this time of year.

Missed traditions, new opportunities  
We often try to teach our children that the holidays are about family, friends, kindness, and a little bit of magic - but what happens when the holidays fall in the midst of a global pandemic and children may not be able to bake cookies with grandma, attend holiday concerts and events, or celebrate with family and friends? Dr. Michael Ungar, professor in Dalhousie’s School of Social Work and Director of the Resilience Research Centre, can provide advice on how parents can help their children adjust to the holidays looking a bit different this year and how they can foster and embrace new traditions. 

New Year’s Resolutions
The new year marks a time when people reflect on the past and set goals for how they will “better themselves” in the coming year. Many people set New Year’s resolutions to get healthier, be kinder, give more, lose weight etc., but are these resolutions realistic and/or healthy? Clinical psychologist and perfectionism expert, Dr. Simon Sherry can discuss whether or not setting New Year’s resolutions is healthy and attainable especially in the midst of a global pandemic.

Celebrating together while apart
A big part of what makes the holidays special is spending time with family and friends, attending social and religious gatherings, and helping out members of our community through fundraisers and community events – but this year the holidays will look a lot different than what we’re used to. Given that we are in the midst of a global pandemic, many of our beloved traditions and gathering with those who mean the most to us, can’t happen. Dr. Martha Radice, associate professor in Dalhousie’s Faculty of Sociology and Social Anthropology can discuss ways that people can make the holidays special and still come together to celebrate traditions, and feel a sense of togetherness despite being apart.

Walking in a winter wonder land – tips for safe snow removal 
It’s beautiful to look at and fun to play in, but snow removal and clean up can wreak havoc on your body if not done properly. Occupational therapists Karen Jodrey and Karen Landry, can explain how to protect yourself when you remove snow from your driveway, walkway and/or deck. They can also provide tips on how to clear ice and snow in a manner that will help prevent injury.  

Healthy through the holidays and the duration of the global pandemic 
During the happiest of holiday seasons, we often find ourselves indulging, and sometimes over-indulging on delicious baked goods, cheese, dips, sugary drinks and so much more – but what happens when the holiday season coincides with a global pandemic? Are we apt to indulge a little more than usual? Dr. Sara Kirk professor in Dalhousie’s School of Health and Human Performance can discuss what leads us to make the food choices that we do, and also provide tips on how to maintain healthy nutritional habits during this festive yet stressful time.    

Is it always the most wonderful time of year?
For many people the holidays are a wonderful time of year marked by merriment, spending time with friends and loved ones, and attending social and religious gatherings – but for individuals living with depression and/or anxiety, struggling with substance abuse, and living with other mental wellness challenges, the holidays can be difficult and bring about an immense amount of distress. Clinical psychologist and perfectionism expert, Dr. Simon Sherry can discuss how individuals experiencing these challenges can manage the added pressures and struggles brought about by the holiday season. He can also provide advice on how family members can help ensure the holidays are a less stressful and more manageable their loved ones who are struggling.

Enduring the second wave
One of the biggest coping strategies for managing mental wellness throughout the pandemic thus far has been getting outside for fresh air, socializing and exercise.  As we head into the cold winter months, getting outside may be a bit more difficult and people may be more inclined to stay in and binge watch television. Dr. Michael Ungar, professor in Dalhousie’s School of Social Work and Director of the Resilience Research Centre, can discuss how we can maintain our own mental wellness and also support each other during the second wave.

Holiday and pandemic stress – what impacts can it have on your oral health?
The holidays can be a stressful time – even without a global pandemic. You may think that you are coping, but your body could be telling you otherwise. Tooth grinding and jaw clenching can happen without you noticing, including when you are asleep. Without treatment, these responses to stress can damage your teeth and lead to more serious problems with your jaws. Dr. James Brady is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon with the Dalhousie University Faculty of Dentistry. He can talk about the signs of tooth grinding, the problems it can cause, and provide helpful information on what to do about it. 

Contact: Please contact Cheryl Bell at 902.266.9403 or cheryl.bell@dal.ca if you would like an interview with Dr. Brady.

We ask that you please keep in mind that it is at the faculty member’s discretion as to whether they have the availability to accommodate your request.