Sarah Rosanel, MD – Celebrating National Women Physicians Day

“Celebrating National Women Physicians Day” NY WIC Event on 2/3/2021
Written and summarized by Sarah Rosanel, MD (@DrRosanel)

How would NYACC’s Women in Cardiology (WIC) Group celebrate National Women Physicians Day? Well, if it were not for a pandemic, we would have been sitting in a nice restaurant, sipping wine and eating foreign cuisine. But here we are, almost a year into this pandemic, holding our head high above the waters. Nothing can defeat us: we still gathered around a virtual happy hour.

What power houses many of these women are! Women cardiologists from all over the world gathered for this special event uniting us. Seeing each other, seeing our faces through Zoom was so refreshing. A lot of us interact almost daily with each other on social media, so being able to “see” each other was special. We were also treated by inspiring and motivational words by Dr. Roxana Mehran.

One point that emerged from this special evening was the importance of a physician’s well-being. Sayings like “a happy team is needed for good outcomes” and “do your hard work and remain positive; you will be recognized” really rang true. The core value of remaining true to ones self and being honest was a key point from our conversations, and the positivity and dynamism of those extraordinary women was contagious.

On the subject of work-life balance, we talked about the analogy of “big” versus “little” rocks. Someone said, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule but to schedule your priorities,” and we discussed the importance of prioritizing the “big rocks” in our lives.

What are examples of big rocks? Hobbies we once enjoyed, more time with loved ones, really being present with our children, exercising or meditating, and even just doing nothing.

Examples of little rocks (pebble or sand)? Small emergencies, errands, housework, random things on our to-do lists.

How do I tell the difference between a big rock and a pebble or sand?

At any moment in time, check in with yourself and ask yourself how you feel. If you feel really good about what you’re doing and it adds meaning, love, abundance, compassion, happiness and joy to your life, chances are you’re doing a ‘big rock’ activity.

How can you live a life with more big rocks in it? Decide on a handful of big-rock activities you want to work on this week. Fill in your calendar for the week with your activities and appointments that you’re already committed to. Include your normal workday, the times you’re schooling your kids or driving them to and from activities, and other events that you have planned.

Next, take each of your big rock activities and place each one in your schedule. Try to do them as early in the day as you can or, at the very least, schedule each one in a time slot when you won’t be rushed or tempted to cancel it because of a fire that needs to be put out. Finally, each day, include at least 15-30 minutes of self-care time, an activity that nurtures your soul. This is a requirement!

There are also some great suggestions that emerged from my fellow NY WIC Members:

“There is no such thing as mom guilt. You are the best parent your child could have, and you were made for your child as you are. When you are present with your child, truly be present so that you have quality time versus just quantity time. Priorities will keep on changing during different times in the year and in your life; it is okay to accept each priority at that time and give your best effort and not feel guilty about not making the other things a priority.”

“Keep work and home life as separate as possible”

“Spend 5-10 minutes a day in gratitude.”

“Don’t struggle alone. Try to be open with others about your challenges. You may be surprised to find that they have similar experiences and helpful insights. Or at least be willing to lend a listening ear!”

“Always, make time for your family!”

“Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

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