Look after yourself

Mask, carrot, celery, pistachios and almonds.
Snack Time. Mask, carrot, celery, pistachios and almonds.

Recently I have begun eating healthier. By better looking after myself, I can better look after others (which includes my patients). All of this with by taking baby steps of course!

Drinking more water is the hard step as I didn’t hydrate myself frequently throughout the day. Now here comes the best part! Healthy snacks! Veggies and healthy fats are now part of my snacks. To make the process easier, which in turn can improve the chance of success, food preparation is strongly recommended. The night before, my wife and I make bags with celery and carrot sticks and containers of almonds. Along with a previously cooked and frozen lunch, I just need to grab my meal and snacks in the mornings!

Without this preparation, a slight temptation or laziness may lead to a Tim Horton’s coffee and a Timbit… or two… let’s be honest, I can easily have four to half a dozen of those to myself. While a cup of coffee and a few Timbits can be an occasional treat, it is not recommended as a frequent snack. To my followers outside of North America, check out Tim Horton’s website to have a better look at Timbits (small and round doughnuts/donuts): http://company.timhortons.com/ca/en/menu/timbits.php

While drinking more water and having small healthy snacks may be a small step, it is a noticeable improvement for me.

What are some of the things you have recently done to improve your self-care? What are some things you would like to do?

Farzad Refahi
September 11th, 2020

Quiet First Day of Spring

Today is March 20th, 2020. The first day of spring. Happy Nowruz to all those who celebrate the new year. Iranians, among few other nations, have the first day of spring as their new year.

While new year celebrations involve visiting others and sharing delicious food, this year will be quiet. I hope it is quiet. Let’s continue the social isolation. Let’s continue to practice proper hand hygiene. Let’s self-isolate if you are feeling unwell. Let’s think about the vulnerable population and the elder members of the family.

My blog posts are usually meant for clinicians. This time, I am writing to every one, since dealing with COVID-19 is beyond the work of clinicians and healthcare system.

While you monitor your physical health, please don’t forget about your mental health. There are various electronic and video communication options that allow you to connect with others. Call the elderly to check-up on them. If you know someone in isolation, ask if they require groceries (being dropped behind their door).

Those who experienced SARS in 2003 may experience higher levels of anxiety around this time (especially clinicians). Make sure you connect with proper resources, support and intervention if required.

Give yourself mental breaks. Find a few trusted sources for news and COVID-19, and only review those. Constantly reading about it may induce increased anxiety. ( www.RTSO.ca is one of my trusted sources.)

Find appropriate stretches and exercises that can be safely done at home. Stay hydrated. Use this opportunity to stop smoking. Pick up that book that you always intended to read!

Don’t forget about the positive. Give gratitude for the good in your life. There are many great people who are doing their best to help out. A quick shout out to respiratory therapists and clinicians who continue to work to keep us healthy. Fatima Foster is creating a supportive online community for clinicians who are experiencing some anxiety around this time. John Meloche from Melotel Inc. is using the resources in his company to support communities and organizations who have non-for-profit COVID-19 support groups. There are many more examples if you look for them!

Have a happy, healthy, and quiet Nowruz!

Farzad Refahi