Mindful Musings

Written By Gerald Levine MD

Preventing Burnout

Prior musings have outlined a method of optimizing physical, mental and spiritual health by focusing on self-care and embracing the mindful attitudes of non-judgmental acceptance, patience, curiosity, trust, non-striving,letting go and kindness.

This musing will focus on preventing caregiver burnout using mindful self-compassion.

 Compassion is being aware of the suffering in others and wishing to relieve it. Compassion fatigue can occur if we give more than we receive. We are rewarded internally and externally when we help others, but we can easily exhaust ourselves. Self compassion is awareness of our own suffering and wishing to relieve it. Caring for ourselves as we would care for a loved one is helpful to maintain a balance of giving and receiving. From this strong,balanced foundation we can stay healthy,clear and effective.

Read more: Mindful musings of Dr J Number 22

Mindfulness in everyday life vs formal practice

Prior musings have outlined a method of optimizing physical, mental and spiritual health by focusing on self-care and embracing the mindful attitudes of non-judgmental acceptance, patience, curiosity, trust, non-striving,letting go and kindness.

Mindfulness can be practiced both formally and as a way of being. (see Musing 17) Formal practice is choosing to set aside some uninterrupted time to meditate, which can be done sitting,lying down, walking or in many other ways. Informal practice involves being aware as one goes about everyday activities. Awareness of being aware (so-called meta-awareness) helps us pay full attention to whatever activity we are doing. This enriches the experience and may contribute to efficiency,effectiveness,creativity and enjoyment.

Read more: Mindful musings of Dr J Number 23

Prior musings have outlined a method of optimizing physical, mental and spiritual health by focusing on self-care and embracing the mindful attitudes of non-judgmental acceptance, patience, curiosity, trust, non-striving,letting go and kindness

I am using my iPad keyboard to write about mindful unplugging from electronics! These ubiquitous devices can be a tremendous benefit, or if overused, a detriment to living mindfully. As our devices become more pervasive and sophisticated they increasingly occupy our time. The tempations are huge,resistance almost futile. This became apparent as I write this on a holiday where there is no WiFi and very limited computer access. This forced "unplugging" has freed up time to meditate,exercise, read, write,connect with fellow travellers and generally "recharge" MY batteries,instead of my devices.

Read more: Musing 24. Mindful Unplugging