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Wellness in a time of uncertainty

I thought the guest lecturers’ topic this morning about wellness came at an opportune time.  Over the last few months, I have definitely had moments that reflected many of the emotions that were discussed.  Ultimately, I found that it was uncertainty for things that brought out those emotions.  Uncertainty about staying healthy – asking questions like “what if I get COVID” or “what if I give it to my family”.  Uncertainty about the economic toll, both personally and for our country at large.  Uncertainty about the future, when will life return to normal, will life ever be “normal” again?  Over the past few weeks, I decided if I wasn’t intentional about dealing with these emotions, they could start to have a negative effect on my daily interactions.  There are many things I do personally that I feel help my “wellness”.  

  1.  Take you care of YOU! Don’t forget basic needs
    1. Eating Healthy.  It is easy for me to skip meals when on shift or working late. Not always easy, but make a conscious effort to eat 3 meals a day and still reward yourself with favorite foods/snacks once a week.  Ok maybe favorite foods once a day!
    2. Sleep!  We can all survive off minimal sleep, residency does that to us.  I personally try to get at least 6 hours of sleep a day, with goal being 8.
    3. Exercise.  This has been proven over and over, some level of physical activity will help you feel better!  I know it is hard with no gyms.  My wife and I have been enjoying walking around our neighborhood.  
  2. Faith
    1. This is not meant to go into a religious debate, but for me personally, faith plays a big role in my life.  Meeting with my friends of like faith and focusing on what brings us joy has definitely helped keep me well during these times. 
  3. Hobbies
    1. Medicine is a challenging career apart from being in a pandemic.  It is always refreshing to balance the stress of medical practice with hobbies that bring you joy
    2. In what feels like a lifetime ago, I was a trumpet player, majoring in music aspiring for a career playing in an orchestra.  While that obviously didn’t pan out, I still love creating music and last week I recorded the video posted below.  It was so much fun to make and definitely brought out a feeling of wellness in me. 

I know we talk about wellness in medicine a lot.  I hope this reminds you that your faculty are always there to help in any way and know and find support in the fact that we are all in this together.  I hope you enjoy the video!

Anant Patel DO, FACEP

Academic EM Attending Physician | Passionate about Medical Education and Health Policy | APD @FortWorthEM | Former BOD for EMRA and TCEP | Classically trained Trumpeter | Aspiring Voice over actor

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Article Peer Reviewed By:
Stefan Meyering DO FAAEM @stefanmeyering

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