A Time to Reconnect and Recover

Premier Pulse     March 2022

Colon_336x336By Roberto Colon, MD, chief medical officer, Miami Valley Hospital

Spring is near, and our health care system is already emerging from the cold darkness of the most recent COVID-19 surge. And while it is unlikely that we will be back to what life was like before this pandemic, we are very rapidly approaching our new normal. This is a great time to look back and reflect on what we have all been through and begin to truly recover.

Clinical psychologist Wayne M. Sotile, PhD, spoke about resilience earlier this month at the first quarter Leadership Development Institute meeting, delivering a message titled “Fostering Wonderment and Hope." While we have talked about resilience before, what I really appreciated about Dr. Sotile's most recent discussion was the focus on individual connections and wonderment. We find strength in each other, not just at work but also at home, and in our social circles. That sense of wonder is what brought many of us to health care in the first place; and like in a relationship, it evolves over time with a new “look.” Now, more than ever, is a good time to reflect on how we can regain wonderment in both our personal and professional lives. Fostering connections and wonderment are so much more connected than we often realize.

As we are afforded time to truly recover, we all should take an introspective look at what we enjoy that we have been forced to de-emphasize in the past few years and look for ways to reconnect. For many of us, this could be family. Spending more time in clinical settings has forced us to adjust the amount and quality of time we spent with those we love. I encourage you to find ways to reconnect with those who matter most to you. And that also includes yourself! It is time, if you have not done so already, to return to personal activities that bring you enjoyment. This could be as simple as taking time to read a book for pleasure. It could be more physical, such as working out or playing a sport. Or perhaps it’s a more involved activity, like pursuing additional education. I strongly encourage you to reconnect with personal relationships and recreational activities that once helped fill your emotional resilience bucket.

Also take time to thank someone! One of Dr. Marc Belcastro’s favorite quotes by Gilbert K. Chesterton has been: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” It does not take much to show gratitude, but the impact of doing so can mean so much to the recipient. Active recognition that something they did was noted and appreciated can be more fulfilling than we realize. And with that thought in mind, I want to wish all my colleagues a Very Happy Doctor’s Day and thank each of you for the sacrifices you have all endured in caring for our community.

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