York County Medicine Summer 2020 - 17

YO R K C O M E D S O C . O R G

JOIN US!
SATURDAY

plain burned out! "Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor,"
says Anne Lamott. We are human and believe it or not, being
perfect is impossible. When we focus on striving for an ideal,
we lose focus on the here and now-and the present is the place
where we experience joy, satisfaction, contentment. Who would
want to miss that? So, listen in to that perfectionistic inner selftalk. Perhaps it can change. Try the STOPP exercise: Stop, take
a breath, Observe, Perspective, and Practice-and open up to a
freeing experience released from that inner negative voice!

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4. Get outside. Look up, look at the trees, the stars, the
clouds. Look down, notice the earth below. Nature can be a
great reminder and a way to ground ourselves-or bring us back
to the moment. In other words-5. Practice Mindfulness! The thing about worry and fear,
burnout and stress, is that it takes us out of the moment. We
forget how to breathe with our full bellies. Somehow along the
line, anxiety and mental energy take over and suddenly we are
shallow-breathing in our chests, which restricts our ability to
relax. When we practice diaphragmatic breathing, we tell our
brains-"slow down, all is well, no worry or anxiety here, no
danger." This is the relaxation response. By initiating deep belly
breathing, you will help your thoughts back to what you can
control-which is your reaction to the here and now. When we
rile ourselves up, it will only make getting through a stressful
time worse!

All proceeds help fund
benevolent care for
hospice patients and
their families.
For details, visit:
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| Harrisburg, PA

Bring yourself to the moment. Try this:
	

* Take a deep breath. What do you notice around you? Name
5 things you see.

	

* Next, name 4 things you can touch. Touch them, breathing
in and out with each moment.

	

* Then, name 3 things you can hear. What is happening
around you that you can hear?

	

* Next, name 2 things you can smell. Notice, breathe in,
then out, slowly, intentionally.

	

* Finally, what is one thing you can taste? Take a moment
and sense it.

This is a grounding technique and can be adapted to anyone
at any time. Try it at the end of your shift. It is an excellent way
to get that brain chemistry to assist our move from fear, anxiety
and stress to presence of thought and release.
6. Finally, get grateful. What are three things you are grateful
for, right now? Your family? Your health? Your resiliency? What
benefits do you have despite the pandemic stress? Job security?
More time with your family? Gratitude brings us back to what
matters, offers us a greater perspective on things, and also
improves our mood.
Though we may feel periodic fear and worry, stress, and
overwhelm, and though we need to take precautions and
recommendations for our health seriously, we also need to be
diligent for our mental health. This pandemic may be stressful,

but we can be smarter than our brains. We can be smarter than
the instinctive stress reactions that contribute to long term health
problems. Healthcare practitioners are our frontline heroes in this
pandemic, and the public's health and wellness is nothing without
your own. Protect the investment in yourself. You can get through
this time with resilience if you make a few steps to keep focused
on what matters-our mind, body and spirit.
Note: This article is not intended to replace medical advice and is for
informational purposes only. If you are feeling overwhelmed, depressed,
anxious, or otherwise "not yourself," it may be time to reach out for
extra help. Confidential support is out there; check out PA's Physician
Health Program at www.foundationpameddoc.org or reach out to
Allie at alliekochert@itherapymail.com.
Allie Kochert, MA, LPC, is a Licensed Professional
Counselor and owner of Rooted Growth Counseling,
providing support, counseling and consulting to
individuals in the helping or healing professions such as
physicians, nurses, therapists and clergy. She graduated
from West Chester University in 2005, has worked in
hospitals, agencies, and group practice for 15 years, and
currently in telehealth private practice based in York, PA.
She can be found at www.alliekochert.com.
SUMMER 2020 | York County Medicine

17


http://www.YORKCOMEDSOC.ORG http://www.HomelandHospice.org/ http://www.foundationpameddoc.org http://www.alliekochert.com

York County Medicine Summer 2020

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