Thursday, September 15, 2011

burnout and mindfulness

I notice that every once in awhile, life seems to get really complicated and exhausting. And every time that happens, I have to remind myself to go back to the basics. I think that happened for me last year, when I felt overwhelmed with too many patients, and felt like I wasn't really doing them or myself any good. I noticed this year, that I felt resentful and exhausted, burned out. I took some leave, spent time with the Boy, puttered around the house, and while I felt better at the time, I felt tired in my soul when I thought about coming back to work.

I've been asking myself if these last three rotations would feel as difficult and painful under different circumstances? Should I have made different choices for my profession -picked something less responsible, something that gives me more time to pursue my interests? Even things I used to find interesting in my profession I dread, and my constant companion, the migraine, has come back -something that started affecting me since starting residency. I've anticipated weekends lately like an alcoholic their first drink of the day!

The night before last, on call, I was looking over my email, and noticed a new book by Thich Nhat Hanh, and was reminded of mindfulness- something I've been preaching but not doing a great job at following. Maybe the answer is moving toward my daily life, not escaping from it. I'm going to try to post a photo or thought of one beautiful thing that I saw or did that day, and something I'm grateful for. In that thought, the photo above is something I saw while I was hiking, propped against a tree.

Today, I'm grateful for having dinner with my wonderful fiance, coming home to a happy, wagging dog, and I found a magazine on making art journals while we were browsing at Barnes and Noble. 

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