I already miss my clients, my office-mates, and the rhythm of our usual practice. If you value the human aspects of practicing in person as much as I do, the transition to telehealth is going to take a little getting used to.
My university students are on an extended spring break, my therapy clients are being seen by phone and video chat, and my course development team and I are planning for an extended period of telecommuting. COVID-19 is here, new and menacing and spreading like wildfire. Gatherings and group events all over the country have been canceled. Hand sanitizer and zinc lozenges are out of stock everywhere. Health care workers and essential personnel of all kinds are overworked.
Savoring is a skill that entails paying full attention to a pleasurable sensory experience. By concentrating on the sensations you experience, you amplify your pleasure and activate the body’s psychophysiological relaxation response. The benefits of savoring can include an increased sense of well-being and enjoyment in life, reduced depressive symptoms, and greater mindfulness.
Savoring is closely related to other forms of attentional honing, such as meditation, and to other positive psychology exercises that increase gratitude. You can apply savoring to any pleasurable moment: a sip of cold water, a bite of fresh food, a warm bubble bath, a hug. The key is to pay attention—to focus on the way this pleasurable moment feels.
Can you dedicate a few minutes a day to your own mental health? Restorative and preventative self-care for clinicians and other stressed professionals begins with slowing down for a few deep breaths.
With an active career and a full family life, my days have plenty of hustle and bustle. We’re all so busy these days. There are always more things for us to do than we can get done, and it seems we are all in search of more productive days and more restorative nights. I’m always looking for better ways to embrace the chaos and ride through life mindfully.