Those of us in the United States share much with the United Kingdom. We speak the same language, despite George Bernard Shaw's famous quote to the contrary: "England and America are two countries separated by a common language." Historians have argued that the Magna Carta served as a springboard for our Declaration of Independence.Something else we have in common with our friends on "the other side of the pond" is the concept of duvet days within the workplace. A duvet day is essentially a guilt-free, pre-planned day that an employee can take off when they just feel too stressed, tired or overwhelmed to come into work.
With the new year (the Year of the Tiger), almost upon us, we're likely seeing more and more of our patients in need of a duvet day. Patients are more stressed, sleep-deprived and worried. They are also likely on tighter budgets. The same is probably true for most of us. This could be viewed as something dark and ominous, however, allowing ourselves one of those duvet days could easily turn everything around for us. Taking that day to rest and recharge could mean you are able to deliver a great, new, creative idea the following day.
What is it we can do to spring forth like the tiger with new vigor and determination? This could be the year for motivation, both internally and externally. Sometimes it seems hard to do the tasks that make a practice exist and thrive, but when you get that spark of energy, take a hint from Nike and "Just do it!" Take the action. Step up and complete the idea and task, no matter how far out or weird it may seem.
Consult a mentor, ask questions, join with others, unite with your peers, work a little smarter, and have more fun. Think about the tiger cub and its playful nature. Try to incorporate more rest and play; smell the roses along the way. At the same time, take a second look at your policies, procedures and treatments, and how to improve yourself just a little. Maybe you take a new CEU or PDA class. Maybe you mix and network with your peers a little more. Maybe you set yourself some goals and write them down.
Honora Wolfe of Blue Poppy has some ideas about goals. She divides goals into seven categories: spiritual, health, family, social, business, money and education. Take some time during that coveted duvet day to ponder goals for each of those categories.
The power of goals is tremendous. When you set goals, your mind, your attention and your qi all become focused. When you successfully achieve your goals, you increase your own self-esteem and your feelings of achieving your dreams. A goal is simply a dream with a deadline. Setting and achieving goals is a powerful experience.
Just as a tiger is a powerful animal, let this profession be cunning, wise and powerful, and position acupuncture and Oriental medicine in its rightful place in health care in the United States of America. Just don't forget, like tigers that need to rest up to 20 hours a day, we too need our duvet days in order to be at our best.
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