What was most important to the doctors who participated in Connect and Change in Cornwall last weekend was that the group were all doctors. It was vital to understand each other’s points of view and life experiences. Although we were all at different stages of our journey from Medicine to a life either after Medicine, or a life in Medicine, but without the burn-out, we all wanted to be able to live in the way we wanted to live, and there was a definite commonality, understanding and connection between us, that non-medics might not have appreciated.
There was a strong sense of gratitude for the chance to take time out away from home and work, yet a strong reluctance to advertise what they were doing this weekend to their colleagues.
Everyone needs time to be listened to, have the chance to bounce ideas onto someone who understands but doesn’t tell them what to do, and also time to process new ideas and consider alternatives when life has become overwhelming.
We had already stretched our bodies with yoga before indulging in a delicious breakfast: before a day to Nurture the Nurturer.
On Friday it was a glorious day and we walked and thought and connected with the fresh sea air and the rocks and the beauty of a Cornish beach. We found lovely pebbles and later decorated these with sparkles. We made a treasure map which showed what we really wanted in life.
Later we played with percussion instruments and made harmonies and had fun creating amazing sounds.
We foraged for wild foods and prepared and then ate a slow cooked meal. It was a chance for a small group of medics to connect with each other and with me and together we planned what to do next for journeys of change.
When you feel overwhelmed by patients and work load, take a little time each day to connect with your breath for a few moments. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Experience how empowering it is to be mindful, to be in the moment. A few minutes letting worries about the past or the future drift by and connecting with your breath is a powerful technique we experienced in the session on mindfulness. It’s a technique that every doctor could use when feeling stressed and overwhelmed by huge work load.
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