Tuesday, April 28, 2009

a bottle of wine and twin lobsters

Here we have been going through lay offs and significant cuts in benefits here and as can be expected, the anxiety level is high. I've been thinking a lot about self-care, but not always putting it into practice. As I thought about this, I just now remembered a conversation I had with a supervisor of mine when I trained at a Veteran's Administrations outpatient clinic. He was kind enough to let me co-lead a group for World War II former POW's. As this was during a previous economic recession, stress was high there as well. He and I talked about the stressful work and the stressful work environment. I asked him how he took care of himself. He said, "With a bottle of wine and twin lobsters." He and his wife (also a social worker) looked forward to their favorite restaurant's Friday Twin Lobster Special. It helped to create a closure for the week.

I have asked this question to many of my colleagues over the years and often think that there must be some secret to managing the stress that no one has taught me to do yet. Their answers are invariably around doing the things that give them pleasure (yoga, gardening, music). Is it that simple? Maybe its also having an evocative memory of good advice that helps!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

"I'm optimistic"

Today, I heard Dr. Thomas Graboys talk about his living with Parkinson's disease. Despite the losses he has suffered, he expressed a number of times how he feels optimistic. Here is the review in the New York Times of his book. Check it out - his optimism is as contagious as is his courage.