(516) 203-4500


347 Mulry Lane Lawrence, NY 11559

It is early Sunday morning and I just got back from my daily 3+ mile walk. It is a magnificent day out. I am sitting in my back yard enjoying the sun, and the peace and quiet. I am trying to prioritize. I know I have quite a bit of paperwork to do on my computer. However, it’s important to set time for self-care. At this very moment, my being lazy, enjoying the sunshine and relaxing takes priority over accomplishing my daily tasks. If that sounds like I am making excuses for being lazy, then so be it!
The ability to compartmentalize is a very important. The pure definition of compartmentalizing is the ability to separate different things into categories. Superficially that sounds pretty simple. Of course, you can separate things, but in reality, it is much more complicated. It is an important trait to master. It is something that I personally work hard to incorporate every day. It means mastering the ability for me to see patients who are going through a multitude of different challenges, and be able to help them without letting it affect me on a deeper level. Sometimes that is easier said than done. Working with a patient who has been going through extensive trauma in their life, it is certainly going to weigh on me. Anyone practicing medicine, with experience over time must learn how to master this trait. Being able to help someone in a difficult situation without taking it home with you, is an essential and very important technique.
Last week was a particularly challenging and draining week for me and I can definitely say I felt it getting the best of me. in addition to my daily work with patients, I also had some friends going through some challenging personal things. I encourage my patients to be aware of their limits, and be aware when their limits are being breached. I practice what I preach. Thus, I was able to recognize within myself that I was exceeding my limits. I recognized the weighing down sensation. My usual techniques of exercise, self- Acupuncture, music, chocolate (85% bittersweet of course) were all doing their thing, but I just felt like I needed something more.
Being able to recognize and take a breather when things get challenging is so important. It allows you to stop right there, before things escalate out of control. I was fortunate to be able to book a weekend away at a hotel on the ocean for the weekend. My husband and I set out for a very quiet calm relaxing weekend at a beach front location. I guess you can say I wrote myself a prescription for a little well-earned R & R!!
The important lesson to be learned here for all of us, is that that you need to understand what your limitations are. A fundamental necessity in your overall well- being is being able to recognize when you have had it. It is important to realize when your go to techniques that usually work for you, are doing the job but just not quite enough. The first step is recognizing that symptom, and then secondly being able to move forward and knowing when you need to seek help.
Many of my patients recognize the importance of their physical and emotional wellness and seek Acupuncture for this very reason. Acupuncture is an amazing tool in providing stress relief, and help in managing your day-to-day. Making things easier and relieving the burden, helping an individual enjoy quality of life are of key importance. In order to be the best healer, I can be, it means I have to be at my optimal wellness. I cannot preach self-care, relaxation etc., without practicing it myself. Knowing when I’m at my limit and knowing how to take steps to change that, and to better myself, are important for me as well as for my patients.
The ability to compartmentalize is a tool that is so valuable in our daily lives both in the short term as well as the long-term. Being able to separate even for the moment some of the stress that you are going through, is essential for healthy endurance. You might be in constant physical or emotional pain, having a difficult time finding your soul mate, having a disagreement with your partner, having a challenging time with one of your children, taking care of an elderly parent, experiencing financial stress or changes at work, etc. Any of these situations can be super stressful in and of itself. If you took the stress and anxiety to the workplace or into your home, it would be far more harmful to you. It would inhibit you from being productive at work or enthusing calmness at home. Furthermore, it is likely that you would not be able to remedy the trigger. Having tools at your disposal that you can reach for on auto pilot in a stressful situation is vital. During extreme stress and the time when you may be going through a traumatic event it is understandably difficult to remember what to do to help yourself relax and calm yourself down. Learning how to compartmentalize, utilizing Acupuncture, exercise, music etc., can be a game changer. Incorporating these techniques into your daily activities will allow your baseline stress levels to be at a more optimal level.
Compartmentalizing and prioritizing are not easy to implement. Sometimes a visual can help. Picture a file cabinet drawer. Open the file cabinet and in the file drawer you have multiple folders. Within each folder you have a whole story and representation of a particular situation. Think of your mind as a file cabinet. Everything that you were going through in your daily life and everything you are going through both in the short term and long term, can be stored in a folder in the file cabinet inside your mind. Compartmentalizing is knowing when you can close that folder, put it in the drawer, and close the door. The stress or traumatic memory is tucked away. It remains in your mind and can be accessed when necessary. However, it is not something that you are challenged with at every minute of the day. At any point in time, you can simply open that drawer in your mind, to retrieve the folder, and thereby access the information that is within. This technique can allow you some time to reflect, to get your mind on other things, and not be constantly thinking or weighed down by the stressful situation.
Compartmentalizing by definition is simply putting things into categories. The implementation of categorizing and separating stressful events of your life during challenging times is difficult. Grasping the concept of the file cabinet, and utilizing tools and self-care is indispensable for your daily life. Mastering these techniques when things are relatively calm, will help you rise to the occasion even when you are faced with a challenge. Along with tools and self-help techniques you sometimes still need to take a breather. There is no shame in taking a break to prioritize, and allow yourself the time to realize this is a challenging time, and allowing yourself the chance to work through it. Utilize Acupuncture, exercise, music, meditation… whatever it takes to get above it. Sometimes it is moment by moment, sometimes day by day but utilizing these tools will help you get through it and help you on your wellness journey.