“I’ve been smoking for 40 years. Nothing will make me quit, ever. I’m not a quitter. You can’t make me quit!”
The majority of our patients who smoke say they have no interest in quitting. We love them, but they drive us nuts. We know what they need but they won’t do it. Well, they can’t, or believe they can’t, is more like it. But from our perspective, especially those of us who have never smoked ourselves, we see it as a choice they are making. And sometimes it feels like they are doing it just to spite us.read more
Brakes screech and you are thrown against the side door as the cabbie zooms over into the next lane, missing that candy apple red Audi’s shiny bumper by mere inches. You thank God the taxi at least has working seat belts. The cabbie enthusiastically lets out a colorful stream of invectives as another car cuts him off, then immediately quiets, eyes darting rapidly, searching for the next quarter-second opening between vehicles to get you to your conference in Manhattan in record time.read more
Your heart beats a rapid staccato in your chest, your muscles clench tightly, you breath rapidly and shallowly, your mouth turns into the Sahara, and the butterflies dance with wild abandon in your stomach. You raise your clammy palm to the door to push it and enter the room, steeling yourself for the worst, knowing this is going to be the patient visit from hell…
But… did you even realize how stressed you were? Or did your stress response creep up on you unnoticed, and advance unmanaged? Did you at least take a deep breath when you realized how on edge you were? No? Let’s talk for a bit…read more
Do you want to feel happier and more satisfied at work? Do you want to be less cynical, but are too jaded to censor the sarcastic remarks before they slip out? Do you want to have an attitude you can be proud of, but don’t want to live in a mental version of a Disney castle like the “Be Positive!” folks seem to want you to?
You’re in the right place. In this article I share specific actions to take to rekindle your idealism and quiet down your inner cynic.read more
5-year-old with pigtails: “I want to be an astronaut!”
Society: “Aww, that’s so sweet. You can be whatever you want to be!”
15-year-old with metallic blue highlights: “I want to be an astronaut!”
Society: “That’s nice. Maybe if you study hard in all the right subjects it might be possible, but you’d better have a backup plan. How you stop dying your hair weird colors and think about being a secretary instead?”
25-year-old with a ponytail: “I want to be an astronaut!”
Society: “Get real. Only kids think about stupid stuff like that. Get a job, a mortgage, a car payment, and contribute to society like you’re supposed to.”read more
You peer blurrily at the stupid tiny clock in the corner of your computer screen, watching the last few seconds of your lunch “break” slip away. You continue charting frantically, trying to finish as much as you can before you get bombarded with the workload of your afternoon patients.
You rub your eyes, but the grittiness won’t go away. You know it’s because you have been staring at the screen too long, and that you shouldn’t chart through lunch, but what can you do? You don’t want to be charting at 9pm either, so working through lunch seems like the lesser evil.
You wolf down some food in 60 seconds flat with one hand as you click madly away with your mouse using the other hand, sighing as you are called to go see your first afternoon patient.
Sound frustratingly familiar? Desperate to find a better way? Do you wish you could actually feel rested after lunch and still get more done?read more
“STOOOOOOOOOPPPP!!!” I scream, to no avail. I screech my bicycle brakes, but there is no way to avoid the accident. The middle-aged businessman on the motorcycle hadn’t bothered glancing to the left before blowing through the stop sign, directly into my bike’s front wheel.
He stops the motorcycle and gives me a surprised look and then a glare, as if all this is my fault. He smiles patronizingly and says: “you’re fine, right?” My heart pounds in my ears as I rapidly gulp shallow breaths of air, and I reply: “That was scary.” He gives me another condescending look, this time tinged with boredom, and repeats: “you’re fine. Right?”
I start to get angry.read more
“DAMN IT!!!!” It felt good to let the scream rip, but she instantly regretted it. All she did was stub her toe a little, but she immediately felt so angry a red haze descended in front of her eyes. Her husband pointed out afterward that the toe-stubbing incident was the fourth mildly-irritating thing to happen to her in ten minutes, and that he had cautiously watched her getting more and more annoyed until she exploded.
Does this happen to you? Do you get frustrated, angry, irritated or annoyed at seemingly inconsequential issues? Does it feel like anger or annoyance “just happen” to you? Do you judge yourself when you do get angry and then feel even worse?
In this article, I discuss why anger is not “bad,” and share how to recognize, feel, express and use anger energy.read more
The sharply dressed nurse practitioner opens her eyes. She lets out the breath she didn’t realize she was holding and looks up with a small brave smile. She takes a deep breath in and lets it out again, now feeling centered. She squares and relaxes her shoulders, clears her mind and steps forward to knock on the medical director’s door. She wonders if she will still have a job after this meeting, but feels ready for whatever comes next.read more
My stomach twittered. I immediately wondered: “am I getting sick? Is it something I ate?” Then I checked in with myself and realized that it was my body informing me that I am nervous about releasing this blog post to the world. After realizing that, I still felt the butterflies in my stomach, but it didn’t bother me nearly as much, because I knew why.read more