Coping in the World of Medicine - Part 2

coping internal skills stress Apr 10, 2021

Last week we discussed the net-negative effect of poor coping mechanisms and positive external alternatives.  Today, we go a bit deeper into internal coping strategies. 

 

We are human, and as such, will experience the full range of human emotions. We need practical ways of dealing with the negative and stressful ones.

 

When you are on the verge of an emotional outburst or inburst, utilize a quick grounding or centering exercise. There are several out there.  Sit...

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Coping in the World of Medicine: Part 1

coping emotion feelings stress Apr 03, 2021

We've talked a bit in the past about coping with COVID19. I want to expand to discuss how we as physicians can deal with everyday stressors.

It's not news to say being a physician, especially a family physician, especially a resident or faculty physician, especially in a pandemic, can be stressful.  The question is, what do you do with that stress?  And what result is your coping mechanism leaving you with? We have previously discussed moral injury and closing the stress cycle, but...

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Video: Perfectionism - Healthy vs Unhealthy

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2021
 

Whether you want to term it healthy perfectionism or striving for excellence, there is a way to do it that serves you.  In this vlog, your Alaskan coach reviews better ways to tap into your natural desire for perfection and the downside of using it in an unhealthy manner. We also cover tips to grow out of unhealthy perfectionism. 

 

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Part 3 of Getting Unstuck from Procrastination - other common drivers and tips.

2 weeks ago, we discussed procrastination and knowing if you are ready to change the pattern. Last week, we looked at how fear and perfectionism play into the cycle of procrastination.

 

This week we will talk about the 4 other feelings that lead to procrastination - Confusion, and Indecision, which are close cousins, Self-Doubt, and Overwhelm.  Those 4 feelings, like fear, are preceded by thoughts that cause them.  Our thoughts create our feelings which in turn...

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Part 2 of Getting Unstuck from Procrastination - how procrastination and perfectionism are related

Last week we discussed procrastination and knowing if you are ready to change the pattern. 

 

This week and next, we will take a look at common themes driving procrastination. 

 

For many physicians, a pervasive one is unhealthy perfectionism.  When we strive for a perceived external bar beyond realistic human competence, it triggers a cascade. When we think things like, "This has to be perfect," it can lead to an emotion of pressure which will lead to wanting to...

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Part 1 - Do you want to stop procrastinating?

Why do many physicians procrastinate? In this 3-week series, we will work through procrastination’s most common causes and tips for leaving procrastination behind.

 

Let’s start by defining procrastination. It's described as an act of delaying or postponing something.  Note the word action. It’s an action, a behavior, not a personality trait. The reason I make that point is too many physicians define themselves by an action. Defining yourself by a negative behavior...

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Video: Receiving Feedback as Physicians For Growth

 

Join me in this month's vlog where my ever-patient instructor, Dr. Julie Hood Wilson, helps me learn to skate ski as an adult. We are joined by Holly Brooks, 2-time Olympian, and high-performance coach, as we discuss better ways to look at feedback as physicians. 

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Calm the Chaos & Cultivate Harmony: Step 3 – Take control of your mental energy – protect and improve it.

Over the last two weeks, we covered Step 1 – Taking back control of your time, and Step 2 – Taking back control of your attention to calming the chaos and cultivating harmony in life.

 

Now for the 3rd step.  We need to protect and build our mental energy.

 

How do we do this? I have 5 tips, but good news - 2 of them are duplicates from Steps 1 and 2.  

 

Honor your priority for your rejuvenation time/self-care. Whatever it is that revitalizes you, make it...

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Calm the Chaos & Cultivate Harmony: Step 2 - Take back control of your attention.

Calm the Chaos & Cultivate Harmony: Step 2 – Take back control of your attention.

 

Last week we covered Step 1 – Taking back control of your time.

 

As residents and academic physicians with full lives outside of work, the demands for your attention are numerous! Those demands add to the chaos and seeming lack of harmony. This week, we are moving to step 2 of calming the chaos – control your own attention with 4 key tips.

 

Be present. You may recognize...

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Calm the Chaos & Cultivate Harmony: Step 1 – Take back control of your time.

There are 168 hours in a week for all of us. If you haven’t read 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam, check it out. 

 

Basically, that means if you are a busy physician, even as a resident within work hour rules and sleeping 8 hours every night, you have 32 hours each week.  How you use those hours (both at work and outside work) and how you think about them can help you calm the chaos. Taking back control of time, and...

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