The Holiday Season is Here: A Time to Celebrate, Reflect and Support Each Other’s Wellness



The holiday season is upon us, which provides each of us an opportunity to reflect on what brings us joy during this time and what we need to continue to honour our wholistic wellness. For many, this time of year is exciting, filled with family and celebration. For others, it can be challenging. Here at the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA), we support everyone on their personal journey and encourage each of you to connect with family, friends and neighbours who may need extra support during this time.

How can each of us honour and nurture our well-being during this time? What supports do you need to ensure you have a safe winter and holiday season that supports your wellness? Who or what grounds you during the festive season?

Asking ourselves these questions and coming up with a plan to support our wellness during this seasonal change can be difficult. To support you on that journey, we have taken the FNHA's four wellness streams and offered some ideas of activities and steps we can all take to nurture our well-being during the winter months:

Being Active

  • Take the opportunity to be out on the land and do something fun, invite your friends and family along! Bundle up and enjoy the outdoors such as going on a walk, hike, skate, and snowshoe or build snowmen - anything that gets you moving! Enjoy opportunities to gather together with loved ones and help each other; even tasks like getting firewood can be fun together.

Nurturing Your Spirit

  • Connecting with your spirit this holiday season is a great way to stay grounded, this can look like gathering with friends and family in community or at your local friendship centre, connecting with the land and animals, or spending time alone reflecting. Many Nations prioritize gathering together, telling stories and sharing songs, and resting during the winter season. We encourage you to do whatever fills you with joy and gratitude this holiday season.
  • Reaching out to close friends, family and community can be an important way to connect and nurture your spirit and wholistic well-being during the festive season. 

Eating Healthy

  • Take time to enjoy some of your favourite foods, whether they be traditional foods, time-tested family recipes, or something new and exciting. Try finding alternative recipes for your favorite sweet treats and holiday meals. There are also great mocktail recipes. Ask one of your traditional wellness specialists for drink alternatives full of good medicine, and share those recipes with others!
  • Feasting season is a time to reflect and enjoy the many gifts we have received or are grateful for.

Respecting Tobacco

  • The holiday season can be fun, but it can also be a stressful time for many people. For those who are trying to quit smoking, or those who simply want to be mindful about their smoking habits it's important to make a plan to deal with the stresses and triggers that may come with the holiday season. Try staying hydrated, bringing gum or lozenges, or talking with a loved one for some support. The Talk Tobacco Program can help you create a personalized plan to respect tobacco during the holiday season.
  • Traditionally, many Nations take time in the winter to tell stories, perform ceremonies and pass their knowledge and culture to younger generations. Take the time to sit with elders or knowledge keepers this winter and learn about traditional tobacco, or other medicines important to your Nation.

There are many activities we can practice during this time to continue to nurture our well-being wherever we are at, do something that works for you! It is very important to ensure that if you need extra support this holiday season to reach out to someone you tr​ust a friend, family member or other loved ones, connect with community and your culture and get out on the land. Your wholistic wellness is the most important to nurture and take care of. If you are feeling distressed or are struggling, reach out and ask for help if you need it.

We encourage you to continue to nurture your spirit this holiday season and find joy in the small moments, in your community and support network and on the land.

The FNHA has mental health and wellness supports that you can access if you need additional supports.

KUU-US Crisis response offers culturally safe help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Indigenous people. The toll free number is 1-800-588-8717.

The Lifeguard App can help keep you safe during the holiday season if you use substances and is an important harm reduction tool.

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