Recapturing Joy During a Pandemic: A Few Thoughts and a Poem

What an unprecedented time! We have all seen our lives completely disrupted by the COVID-19 global crisis in countless ways and, yet, I have seen my colleagues rise above the challenge and lead change with grace, and with the same commitment and heart of service that characterizes our calling. I am proud of you and deeply grateful for every opportunity to continue to support you during this time.

In the midst of the disruption, I have been called upon to continue to serve my state and medical teams in various ways. I am honored to offer a webinar for the Florida Academy of Family Physicians this week on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 8 PM Eastern Time. The title is, “COVID-19: Addressing Stress Management & Navigating the Legal Implications.” An attorney will present on the medico-legal repercussions, and I will discuss ways to remain positive, hopeful, and safe during this crisis. You may register HERE.

If you’d like to join one of my Zoom meetups for physicians, please let me know HERE. The theme is ways to continue to experience Joy in the Days of COVID-19. We are using my book, Recapturing Joy in Medicine, as the timely resource it is to help us stay focused on our vocation while practicing healthy boundaries that will keep us safe. This is so vital right now, when physicians and nurses have been fired or disciplined for wearing their own (self-supplied) PPE or speaking up for their safety and that of their teams! Unbelievable as this seems, I am encouraged to see the response from various medical organizations standing up for us, as well as new national guidelines that uphold our right to ensure our safety.

Although it’s a stressful and scary time for physicians and other medical professionals, there are also silver linings in the midst of this crisis. I was deeply touched to hear from a physician, my friend Dave, whose patient found out he needed an N-95 mask, and the next day stopped by his office with a gift of masks … sprinkled with hope! This time of sudden change and uncertainty is also a time of blessing. I’d love to hear your stories of surprising moments and blessings in disguise. Feel free to share them HERE or in the comments below.

A Pause to Recapture JOY
I wrote a poem with ways to find JOY and stay healthy during this pandemic.

P ray, paint, journal, play an instrument, or do something creative
A void substances as a coping strategy; instead, reach out to someone you love
N ature is good for the soul; get out there and open your windows!
D rink lots of water and go for a walk, run, swim or bike ride
E at to nurture your body and soul (chocolate allowed!)
M ake sure you sleep enough and have mental breaks from work each day
I ncorporate silence and use solitude with intention to feed your soul
C are for people while letting them love you too!        © 2020 Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever, MD       

In the midst of a pandemic, we remain resourceful, resilient people who care and can rise above by staying connected to one another, remembering the “why” of what we do, and reaching up to God with faith and hope. Please remember you can also reach out to me anytime, and especially during this unprecedented time.

Together we can accomplish so much more. I’m glad you’re here!

Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever, MD (Dr. Mari)

I am the author of Recapturing Joy In Medicine and I am passionate about physician wellness, burnout prevention, and Helping Docs Thrive™ in the midst of a broken system in constant flux. As a coach for physicians, I love helping my colleagues develop their strengths, recapture their original calling into medicine, and embark on a path to greater joy, meaning, and purpose in medicine and in life.

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