Please take the time now to identify for yourself, as a potential future patient, the network of people to call, action to take, when the wheels are coming off the bus of your planned life. Having one may increase your efficacy and resilience: You are no longer a victim. We are no longer victims in our lives, which can otherwise seem out of control. For me it is to reconnect with patients, with my wife, with my daughter, with my counselor, with a friend. High-output exercise cycling, kayaking, taking a walk in nature and practicing mindful presence. Calling my sister. Sleep. A walk in a windy rain. Tomorrow I head back to the Rocky Mountains after 33 years.
Things that have not worked for me: Drugs, given up with my acceptance to medical school. Nicotine: Hurt my body too much. Alcohol, 5+1/2 years now with none. Had trouble stopping when I started to drink. Even though I thought it was never in my practice or connected with patient care, I found a gear I had not realized I had lost when I stopped for 3 months. Used it as a Band-Aid on life problems that meditation, talking about feelings and counseling helped for real.
What is your action plan? What restores your soul? Write it down. Keep this close and dear, ready to use when you need it. Share your feelings and ask for help from peers, nurses, staff, counselors when you need it, when you are losing this connection.
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