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Take a Moment to Connect

Jade Sorget emphasizes the importance of taking time to connect…with our teammates, loved ones, and ourselves…and the positive outcomes that can come from it.

In our fast-paced world where we are surrounded by our electronics, the constant notifications, and vibration of an incoming text, it may be difficult to understand how we are more disconnected than ever. The customary “how are you,” is often automatically followed up with a “good” or “doing well,” and many times it may not be an accurate reflection of the true emotional state of the person. Last year, the U.S. Surgeon General released an Advisory[1] on the “Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation.” As stated in the Advisory, “studies indicate that loneliness and isolation are more widespread than many of the other major health issues of our day, including smoking (12.5% of U.S. adults), diabetes (14.7%), and obesity (41.9%), and with comparable levels of risk to health and premature death.” It was a recent gathering with friends where the true gravity of this epidemic hit home. The major topic of the dinner conversation that night centered around the alarming rate of the loss of loved ones and co-workers recently.

As healthcare professionals, our teams are trained to look for signs of distress, to administer depression and anxiety screenings, and to stay keenly aware of the mental health of our patients. However, during the busy week, we can often overlook the sadness in the eyes of a teammate, the disconnectedness of a loved one, and even the glaring signs of burnout in ourselves. Now more than ever, it is important to give yourself permission to take a moment to connect.

Take a moment to connect with your teammates. While it may feel as though there is not enough time with demanding schedules, I encourage you to make the time. Simply taking time to look beyond the canned response when inquiring about how they are, listening as intently to them as we do our patients. You may provide them with a safe space to be—and to feel—seen, heard, and appreciated.

Take a moment to connect and be present with loved ones. These are the ones who support us through our highs and lows. Often, we give our best throughout the day, not saving energy for those outside of work. This could be putting away phones while enjoying a meal and sharing time together.

Take a moment to connect with you. As caregivers we tend to put the needs of the patients, family members, and others before our own, forgetting that we cannot pour from an empty cup. It can be as simple as enjoying a cup of coffee without any distractions.

Regardless of what those moments may look like for you, I invite you to build it into your routine. You may not only extend your life, but possibly save another’s life.