Being a physician is demanding. With long days, grueling surgeries and complex patient care, physician stress and burnout are off the charts. We asked Chicago doctors about their favorite ways to find balance and relax. Here’s what they told us.
“I started figure skating at the age of 9, did competitive singles skating through college and after graduation joined Holiday on Ice for two years. I still love to skate because it’s something I’m passionate about. Skating offers me an artistic outlet. I love the freedom of gliding across the ice.”— Kelsey Elaine Davidson, MD, Shriners Hospitals for Children—Chicago
“Terrariums are self-enclosed ecosystems that are easy to make. They have a fantastic inherent zen. Finding local seasonal plants and mosses as close as one’s own backyard is an easy way to slow down and reflect upon simplicity in nature.” — Mark Yaffe, MD, Barrington Orthopedic Specialists
“I enjoy engaging in meditative/breathing exercise. My breathing technique — sustained hyperventilation meditation — is a little different. When done, you feel a little lightheaded and giddy, and it’s hard not to smile. To get a fantastic meditation session, I might pair the breathing with being in a sensory deprivation tank for an hour. It’s a fantastic way to reconnect with the true inner self.” — Matthew Brown, DO, MBA, Rogers Behavioral Health
“I play ultimate Frisbee two or three days a week throughout the year. It requires tremendous concentration while playing, so it forces you to forget everything else. You exercise very hard — constant sprinting — which is a great energy relief. Unlike the O.R., which is very cerebral, ultimate is very physical so it balances my life.” — Richard Berger, MD, Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush
Originally Published in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue
Erin O’Donnell is a freelance health and science writer, parent, and graduate of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. Walks by Lake Michigan make her happy.