By Jaime Lewis
The road to wellness is often less than straight and narrow. Some stretches are full of potholes and construction barriers, causing delays, requiring tolls and taxes for passage, while other sections are smoothly paved, wide open, and headed straight into the sunset.
However the journey proceeds I have found it is peppered with choices and opportunities to make myself a little happier, a bit healthier, and perhaps a little more “well”. Some moments it’s a choice of how to respond or react, how to understand my own emotions, or how to interpret the actions of another. Other days it’s making the choice to eat the healthier meal, to run the extra mile, to play with my children, or in my professional sphere- to finish up my charts, respond to a committee request, or spend a few extra moments with a resident.
Recently I have worked to formulate goals which I believe will help me progress on my journey to wellness. While I may stumble along the way, I will strive to:
- Understand my place in this world in the many roles I play. I will be true to myself and not pretend that I can be everything to everyone.
- Focus my efforts where I believe I can make a difference and work to understand the opportunities and limitations as they exist. I will not try to change the world overnight.
- Align my actions with my core values and central beliefs while allowing them to evolve. I will attempt to act in ways that are expressions of who I am rather than who I am expected to be.
- Be physically active on a regular basis, eat a healthy diet of real food, and enjoy the benefits of relaxation and regeneration. I will relish my time running rather than regretting what I’m not otherwise doing. I will be mindful about the nourishment I choose. I will make time to rest.
- Understand my own value and worth without comparing it to others. I will work to accept that my path is different and uniquely mine. It’s all about the journey.
- Challenge myself when I need to grow and forgive myself when I have failed. I will not be satisfied with stagnancy and will give my heart time and space to heal when necessary.
And I will remind myself that in order to care for others, I must be well myself. And the lessons I learn will be used to help my family, friends, and patients care for themselves and others.
As we head into this holiday season and the New Year is upon us, I wish that all of you may find a little wellness each day in the hustle and bustle of it all.
Jaime Lewis practices breast surgery at the University of Cincinnati where she also completed her general surgery residency. After residency, she also completed a one-year fellowship in breast surgical oncology at the Moffitt Cancer Center. Outside of the hospital, she enjoys running, cooking, and time with her family.
Our blog is a forum for our members to speak, and as such, statements made here represent the opinions of the author and are not necessarily the opinion of the Association of Women Surgeons.