If we return to normal in medicine, have we lost the lesson of the pandemic? 

My energy has been bottled up. It’s not just over the past few weeks during this pandemic.  My energy has been bottled up and backlogged in some areas of my life for decades.

The recent turn of life events has just made it even more glaring and evident to me.  It forced me and demanded me to do something about it.

The traffic jam of my energy manifested itself in procrastination and putting things off until the very last minute.  If there were a deadline, I’d wait until the last minute and get it done just under the deadline.  I told myself I work better under pressure. With that pressure came a dash of stress and a pinch of overwhelm in just the right amounts to make life feel challenging more often than it needed to be.

The newest challenge called COVID-19 made me look at life in an entirely new way.  It made me face the realities of my children, my career, and the direction we are headed.  As young adults, one in college and one headed to college in a few months, what does it mean for a young person excited to venture out on their own, now made to stay home?  How do I evolve to support them and allow for their own growth and expansion?

COVID-19 made me go back to basics.  I know how to use the daily practices of meditation, goal setting, and inspired action to gain traction and experience results. I’ve done it in the past.  I’d feel the shift in my energy, get excited about the progress, and before I knew it, life got busy.  I’d forget to take the few minutes every morning to get into silence and allow myself to be.

The result was I’d lose my inspiration and motivation.  Slowly I’d slip backward, never really going back to my starting point, but never fully getting to where my greatest desires reside.

COVID-19 demands that I do not stop.  It requires me to do the work- the morning meditation, the journaling, and the evening reflection. They are now an essential part of my day.  It’s been weeks since I reintegrated them into my life.  I see and, more importantly, feel the benefits of maintaining my sense of peace and hope, love, and faith.

It is working.

I know because communication with my young adult children, who are distance learning from home, is different, better, and tailored to them as individuals.

I know its working because when I’m triggered by a news update, a social media post, or an empty aisle in the grocery store I can instantly shift my focus onto where I want to be in the next six months, 12 months, or years from now where my dreams reside.  There is magic in that.  It opens the portal for inspiration, motivation, and creativity.

I know it’s working because when I connect to my spirit, I allow it to guide my life.

Medicine is going through its own transformation.  In the media, there is a discussion about when the restrictions will be lifted, and we can return to life as normal. I wonder if we return to normal in medicine, have we lost the lesson of this pandemic?

My goal is to harness this new momentum. My intention is to stay on point with what I see is working for me on most days.  Maybe I will slip and miss a day here and there.  But I plan not to slip too often because I see that it is working.

In medicine, is the goal to return to a system that had flaws and left the physicians out of the solution?   Let’s imagine that we emerge from this pandemic with a new culture that incorporates the human factor for the physicians.

Stephanie Wellington is a physician and can be reached at Nurturing MDs.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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