A Different World…
In 6 months’ time, life has changed, drastically. Whether focusing on the necessity of protective gear and hand washing routines whenever you leave your home or developing cabin fever due to social isolation, COVID-19 has reshaped how we navigate our lives in every sense. To that end, a lot of time has been spent discussing the proper ways to navigate physical, public spaces, but we could use a lot more conversations and resources to help us navigate our emotions. Thus, I invite you to consider some of the reasons why prioritizing your mental health and wellness via mindfulness and self-care is one of the most important things you can do right now. Additionally, I’ll share with you some exciting updates about the wellness week component of this year’s Health Professions Week and highlight some of the resources being made available leading up to this year’s event.
In a society that is more interconnected than ever, during this time particularly, we experience information overload. This can lead to us becoming stressed, anxious, and any other range of emotions without us always understanding why. Psychology Today describes mindfulness as “… a state of active, open attention to the present. This state is described as observing one’s thoughts and feelings without judging them as good or bad.” Mindful practices allow us to not only stop and reflect, but to free ourselves from the judgment of our own thoughts through a greater understanding of how our experiences, the full breadth of them, sit with us. This has become even more critical during this time due to the way we are experiencing the world right now and the seen/unseen impact on our individual and collective psyche.
This series is focused on exploring tools, resources and strategies for aspiring health professionals in the lead up to the 2020 Virtual Health Professionals Week. In Part 2, I will delve into mindfulness and wellness during the pandemic, and discuss where we can go from here. Don’t forget to register for Health Professionals week!
By Brandon D. Brown, M.S.Ed., Senior Outreach Specialist at the Association of American Medical Colleges.