Waves of Emotions

During these uncertain times it is not unusual for my patients to feel different emotions in very short periods of time. I hear mostly of anxiety. However, I also hear of sadness and feelings of loss and grief. Even as my patients stay healthy physically the emotional toll the COVID-19 Pandemic has inflicted is quite high. We mourn for the people who have died. We mourn for the families who have been inflicted with economic hardship. I know some of my patients will sail through this seemingly unaffected and others who will be deeply affected for a long time. Each patient is dealing with this differently. I have to listen and meet my patient wherever she is.

Create your  immediate future

Dealing with different emotions can be scary and exhausting. Because the future is so uncertain it is important to create the future we need in this moment. If there is a picture that needs to be painted get out the paints and start painting. If that yarn has been sitting in the bag since it was purchased get those needles going. If there is a book you have been wanting to write start writing. If my patient is feeling helpless she can take back some control. Life will feel less helpless if she can determine even the immediate future.

Staying Connected Matters

I am seeing all of my patients each week via Telehealth. I am happy that the hour they come we can stay connected. Staying connected is so important right now. If you are not already in therapy, it can start now. If you feel alone it can help you feel that someone is there for you week after week.  Relationships are what will help us get through this emotionally.

I’m your Venus

 Take good care of yourselves. On another note, if you look at the evening sky in Portland, Maine Venus is very bright tonight. I think this is symbolic for the brightness that needs to shine over all of us right now. Be well, stay safe and stay home!

Stay Calm and Keep Your Distance

I made the difficult decision to increase social distancing in my private practice. As a whole, we must do this to flatten the curve of new infections from the coronavirus. Right now, if we don’t our health care system and workers will be over whelmed. I felt I needed to do my part and have moved my practice to a HIPPA compliant video tele-health platform. If this creates a hardship for anyone in my practice I am asking you to call me and we will come up with an alternative plan. My hope is this will be short and we will resume our face to face meetings once things have settled down.

Worrying Increases Cortisol Levels

Staying calm is something you can do to boost your immune system.  Stress and anxiety increase cortisol levels and is not good for our immune systems.  Good self care is very important right now.  Meditate, knit, bake, paint or watch movies. If you can, stay connected with loved ones.  If watching the news heightens your anxiety-turn it off!  Stay calm and wash your hands!


Knitting again and other mid-December Ramblings


This weekend I picked up my knitting needles again. It had been so long since I had knit something. It’s also been a while since I last blogged!   I purchased this yarn over a year ago.  That tells me how I have been neglecting the things I enjoy. One ‘small’ reason was I was having to re-certify  my Psychiatry Boards which I can gladly report I completed and passed. I started the process in June and finally finished several weeks ago.  This was round three.  It was different this time in that I was able to read 30 articles and pass mini tests.  It was a lot of reading but I would say this was better than sitting for the 3 to 4 hour exam.   Every 10 years we must re-certify although the requirements are changing.

Glad I was finally able to pick up my knitting again and just relax. I am taking a few days off each week because of the mid week holiday’s. I don’t like to use vacation time during the winter months, but I will gladly take it.  Knitting for me is meditative. It lets me sit on the couch and get lost in thoughts or if my pattern isn’t too hard I can also binge watch shows I have wanted to catch up on.  I encourage my patients to take time for self care. So whether it’s knitting, painting, yoga or whatever suits her I encourage my patients to do as much as they can. Life can get in the way sometimes of good self care. It is important we make sure we find the time to nourish ourselves.

On another note I got to go to Star Wars with my teenage  son.  I was in shock he went with me because my mere existence embarrasses him. Thankfully, his friends couldn’t go and he really wanted to.  Mom win!  The movie was great but these few and far between moments I will cherish forever.  I love that I got to spend the afternoon with him like I used to when he was young.

Have a happy holiday or few days off!