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Mindfulness in Helping Prevent Personal Burnout for Healthcare Professionals

“Baseline rates of burnout among physicians hovered around 50% even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Since COVID, rates have increased. Recent data show that 60% of healthcare workers reported that their mental health had suffered over the last year. And an astonishing 30% of physicians and residents and 54% of nurses reported moderate to high levels of burnout. “

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What Does “Forgiveness” look like?

Forgiveness is a word with many emotions, definitions, and actions.  Webster defines forgiveness as “to cease to feel resentment against” – a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you regardless of whether they actively deserve forgiveness. 

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Empathy Begins At Home

Empathy, like dignity, can be difficult to define but its absence is felt profoundly. Residents, families and co-workers can feel when they are not being treated with empathy. Tapping into the feelings and needs of others is certainly what called many of us to the helping professions.

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Altruism: Helping Others Can Lead to a Happier You!

Assisting others who are less fortunate, emotionally, socioeconomically, or in poor health, can help change own our perspective to feel more positive.1 There is literature that suggests, helping others can change brain chemicals leading to more happiness.1,2 Furthermore, face-to-face volunteering, for example, lending a helping hand at a food bank or church can help reduce loneliness, isolation and can improve social and support networks.1,3

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Hi Mom; It’s good to meet you.

My Mom was a difficult, fastidious person. Responding to her deep-seater training as a severely abused child, she brought all her coping mechanisms forward into adulthood, most of which were aimed at preserving safety that only comes from being in complete control. Child Protective Services did not exist in the 1930’s and ’40’s, and the cultural norms of the day precluded outsiders from meddling in how others chose to run their households or interact with their children. Private matters were in fact, private. I’ve heard from older relatives over the years how sad it was that Mom was not afforded a room in the family home. Because she was a bedwetter, she slept on an open back porch, something she dreaded because of the “tramps” who walked the nearby railroad tracks at night. She had no bed and slept on a pile of rags that she laundered every day. She tied the bits of fabric in knots to help them hold a shape when she lay down on them. In addition to persistent inhumane and abusive treatment, the sensational details need not be repeated here, I learned that from the age of 9, Mom supported alcoholic parents and a little brother stocking shelves at the local grocery, taking in ironing, and waitressing in a malt shop. She worked early in the morning, during school lunch hour, and after school, as well as every weekend. As a teen, she landed a great opportunity with the phone company and worked a split shift as the overseas operator. She worked as a carhop at a diner during and after the split times on the overseas board. In her junior year, her folks took her out of high school to take on more working hours. She had wanted to become a home economics teacher, and quitting school was an especially bitter pill. Fear was a constant companion. Home was especially unsafe. Work, although relentless, was a welcome respite from home, although, without a car, the 2 mile walk in the pre-dawn and late-night darkness were harrowing experiences. Thus, she ran to and from, a practice that served her well when on occasion a would-be assailant would decide to take advantage of a young, pretty girl walking alone on the highway. In true survivor fashion, Mom took respite in her mind, dreaming of a future that was calm, clean, and safe, where the things she worked so hard for were respected, and she was respected. 

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