Navigating to new routines

As a practitioner of Chinese Medicine, like many of you in the integrative medicine business, being back in the office after weeks of quarantine feels a bit odd. How many days does it take to create a new habit? During quarantine, I created new daily routines while home that included literally and figuratively cleaning, sorting and releasing. I think I was pretty efficient in cleaning out the clutter of my bathroom closet and the closets of my mind all on the same day! I sorta enjoyed the imposed retreat-sorta!

Going back to work, has come with some adjustments. Anyone else notice the challenges of returning to your work schedule? Coming back to the office with all the new CDC regulations has been interesting! I have a small office and I can’t tell you how often I have washed my hands, which was a lot even before Covid-19! What I do know is that these new habits carry an extra layer of stress to my work that I had not experienced before. The last patient of my first week back to work got to experience the results of my tiredness. She paid with a credit card and I accidentally charged her 10x the amount of what I normally charge! What a difference an extra zero can make!! Fortunately, I caught it the next day and issued a refund! Oh my goodness!

What I am hearing from my patients is that they too are learning some new ways of being when they go for health care services; text upon arrival, wait in your car until you are asked to come in, masks requested, distance, try not to touch anything. Geezzz. All these changes create an undercurrent of new stress for both the patient and the practitioners.

Here’s my point. No matter, if you are a patient or a practitioner remember if you are calm and peaceful then that energy will resonate from you to those who share your space. We all know that this is a time that feels uncomfortable-for sure. Ask yourself: what is my intention? Is my intention to let these changes disturb my sense of peace? Or will I let the changes remind me that I value health of other people, so I participate mindfully with my community?

Would everyone like to go to get that massage, get that adjustment, visit the naturopath, receive acupuncture without feeling like you need a hazmat suit on? Yes, of course. In time we will be able to say we lived through the 2020 pandemic. However, in the interim, recognize these challenges affect us all. Everyone feels the extra stress. But together we will breathe through the experience-at a distance while mindfully remembering that this is not easy on anyone!

Next time you go to a service-oriented establishment whether it is an integrative medicine facility, a spas service, a medical facility, a restaurant or a retail store thank those who are working in our communities. It is not easy to work all day in these extra stressful conditions. And if you are working in one of these industries let the people who are the patrons to your services know that they are appreciated for understanding that none of this is easy on anyone. We are in this together. Even if fear wants to intervene, CHOOSE to navigate this path together with love and understanding. Be safe. Be well my friends!

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