On MomMD, I share the 6 things physician moms need to have in their toolbox of resources to acheive physical, mental and spiritual balance. Click here to read.Tweet
Fall is a new season where we witness change. Nightfall occurs earlier, the leaves turn colors, the air is now crisp and football is the favorite pastime. Fall can be a good time to get rid of old habits and adopt long lasting healthy behaviors that allow you to reconnect with loved ones and reclaim your sense of wellbeing.
Listed below are 15 ways that can reignite your soul and create the inner balance and calm that you desire.
What idea above will you commit to going forward? Comment below
As I tried to find work-life balance in my own life, I realized that in order to achieve the peace that I was looking for there were some things that I
needed to change. I needed to change the way I reacted to stressful situations, I needed to change my priorities and I needed to change my thoughts
and behaviors. Change is not easy. Being willing to change requires you to dig deep. It means you have to live authentically and let go of what other’s
think. I realized that my desires, goals and dreams were sacred to me and should be treasured.
When our life is out of balance, we can no longer focus on the things that bring us joy, peace, and a sense of purpose. We may miss the opportunity to display our talents and share our untapped gifts with the world. The feeling of being in balance should be peaceful, forgiving, trans formative and safe. Finding balance, for me, happened after I started to make changes in my life. One of those changes was the practice of yoga.
Students of yoga come to practice with an objective for what will guide their practice for the day. This objective then encourages you to look into the future and decide what your purpose will be for the next day, the next week, the next month. Goals allow you to begin to create the change you desire. As Deepak Chopra said in his article 5 Steps to Harness the Power of Intentions, “Everything that happens in the universe begins with intention.” We can use this practice of intention with anything in life that we are looking to change or accomplish. We can apply it to our relationships, health, careers and even our spiritual practice. We can begin to set intentions in each area of our lives to change or adopt an existing or desired practice.
In yoga class you are encouraged to stand tall, to push yourself, to explore and to broaden your practice. This is accomplished through different yoga poses. These poses have different levels and the objective is to not get comfortable with the beginner poses but to challenge yourself to go to the next level. You are encouraged to keep trying even if you fail. Sometimes the poses can seem overwhelming. To change, we have to continue to push past the difficult times by being resilient. What does this mean? Being resilient is not just about bouncing back; it’s about being “able to recover quickly from disruptive change, or misfortune without being overwhelmed or acting in a dysfunctional or harmful way.” We are constantly being challenged with changes. According to an article written for Success, 6 Ways Yoga Today Will Make You Better Tomorrow, “We never know what life’s going to throw our way, and yoga practice makes us better equipped to handle sudden, unexpected changes.” To remain in balance, we have to learn the tools to help us recover quickly and escape becoming overwhelmed.
Yoga teaches you to listen to and honor your body. As you are moving through different yoga poses, you start to feel certain areas of your body that are not as strong as others. You start to notice areas that are less flexible. This awareness then forces you to make adjustments to your poses and make a mental note to work on improving those areas in your subsequent classes. This focused awareness and attention can be carried over into other aspects of your life. The more clarity and presence we have, the better chance we have of adopting practices that can bring us peace, balance and harmony.
Change is difficult but can be achieved by making small gradual steps toward the life you want to have. Only you can decide what that life looks like and put forth the action plan that will take you from a life of stress to a life of peace
Are you ready to change to achieve work-life balance? What would that life look life? Comment below.
Learn how you can incorporate new behaviors so you can have lasting relationships, a fulfilling career and a balanced life. Click here to schedule a complimentary strategy session Blueprint for Achieving Work-Life Balance
Photo credit "Meditation" by tiverylucky
Not only is a stress a likely risk factor for heart disease, it also can lead to obesity. Ever wonder why during times of stress instead of wanting healthy foods, our body craves sweets, carbohydrates and salty foods? The reason is that during times of stress, a hormone called cortisol is increased. This causes us to overeat and crave those unhealthy foods. As a result, weight gain due to stress can lead to unwanted physical and emotional consequences.
Whole grain bread, pasta and cereals prompts the brain to make more serotonin which is a hormone that causes mood balance.
Burnout among physicians is real and at an all-time high. There are many reasons for this increase such as working longer hours, more administrative work, less time for family and social interactions and increased personal demands. Some physicians will reach a point where they feel like leaving the profession that they once loved. Burnout doesn’t happen overnight. A series of events, stressors and changes happen over time that build up to a point where you start to feel like you can’t escape. If you’re not paying attention to what’s going on around you, by the time you become aware and address what’s happening, it may be too late. The Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD recently expressed his concerns about physician burnout. He stated in MedPage Today that “Medicine is a profession in which emotional well-being is sorely lacking.” He went on further to say that we need more people entering the medical field and if we have physicians burning out, it goes against what we need. So how do we get to a state of emotional well-being for health care providers?
To manage burnout, we need to have a deep understanding of self. We have to be aware of our own strengths, beliefs, emotions, thoughts and behavior. A physician who is self-aware can then change the way they react to life stressors and learn techniques to combat stress. Speak the truth about your situation. Spend some time on internal reflection. Develop a quiet space where you can go and just unwind. Having quiet time allows the noise in your head to disappear and new ideas and solutions to problems to emerge.
2. Work life balance
It’s important for health care professionals to develop work-life balance early on. Having a 24/7 connection to the profession coupled with the nature of the job can make it difficult to find balance between personal and professional life. Balance is giving the right amount of attention to the things that makes us whole. It doesn’t always mean that we can divide this time equally among the different areas in our lives. As physicians, we need to identify what is important to us in our personal and professional lives and decide what takes priority when the struggle to be present for both arises. Being out of balance and dealing with burnout can cause you to miss life’s most important moments. We can’t be present for others without having our own physical and mental health in balance.
3. Adapt to change
Our personal and professional lives go through different stages. Just like we have to adapt to the changing four seasons, we also have to learn to adapt to the different stages in our personal and professional lives. There will be times when our personal lives may need more attention because of life events such as the birth of a child, the loss of a loved one or illness. Our professional lives may also need more attention during times of increased work demands like preparing for certifications, increased patient volume during certain times of the year etc. Being aware of what’s important, being willing to be flexible and developing a framework to know how you are going to deal with these challenges, will help to make these encounters easier to manage and keep you in balance.
Learning to take the time to recoup in between challenging times is also important. Time is needed to recharge so that it’s easier to be resilient and bounce back. Recharging allows your mind to develop a new set-point. You will become more focused, more productive and better prepared to deal with the next challenge that comes your way. Chronic stress develops because we allow negative situations to continue to build without allowing time to reset. It’s difficult to sustain living with constant stress. So taking 10 minutes a day to sit quietly can have long lasting effects.
Developing a state of emotional well-being for physicians is important because one thing we know is that the state of a physicians’ mental health has a direct correlation to the quality of care a patient receives. The care goes down as physician burnout increases. You have to create the life you want to live and believe it can happen.
What would have to be true for that to happen? What would you have to let go of? What areas of your life do you want to improve?
Take time to reflect on the above questions and leave your comments below.
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When work takes over our lives, achieving work life balance becomes difficult. We can no longer focus on the things that can bring us joy, peace and sense of purpose. The feeling of being in balance is life changing. If we are constantly playing the same song in our heads that work is so consuming, that you don’t have time to enjoy the things you like to do or that you don’t have time for family and friends, then we are staying stuck. When we remain stuck, we may miss the opportunity to display our talents in other areas for the good of mankind or for our own sense of fulfillment. We need to change the story and begin to make the changes necessary to find that balance. One way to change that tune is to find an interest outside of your career. This means taking the time to reflect on what brings you happiness, joy and a sense of purpose. For some, their careers bring them happiness but not a sense of purpose, others feel like they’re making a difference in the world but may not be happy and joyous. Since our careers may not give us everything we want, we have to find outside interests that can fill those needs.
Think back to your childhood and try to recall what made you happy. This may take some soul searching and self-examination. Think about how you felt back then and then allow those feelings to surface. Maybe you get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside or butterflies. You may feel a surge of energy that you have not felt in a while. See where this takes you on your journey to explore new things. If that same energy and feeling persists after renewing that interest, then you probably found your answer.
Maybe something sparked your interest later on in your adult life that you wish you could continue to do. The good news is you don’t have to make it a full time job. It could be a hobby, a volunteer opportunity or a side business. Find ways to incorporate what you love into your schedule.
Try something new
Try something that you’ve never done before. I recently spent time with my daughter at a painting event. I don’t consider myself to be very artistic, nor have I taken a paint class before. I thought it sounded like fun and was willing to give it a try. We attended an event at Pinot's Palette and I was pleasantly surprised. I immediately felt relaxed being in an environment with other novice guests. I had to learn to be patient as the guide gave us step by step instructions on how to execute the painting using different colors and techniques. I had to give up feeling in control and being a perfectionist. We were told early on that everyone’s painting would look different and no one is going to win a prize. But the best part was spending time with my daughter and making a connection with her through this event. I found my balance in a painting class.
Where will you find balance? What will you commit to trying? Comment below.
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