Empathy vs Sympathy

e versus s

There are many times when we don’t know what to say. A friend’s spouse is ill, someone doesn’t get the promotion they really wanted, or someone is just having a really down day. We feel stumped and either say nothing or end up saying something we later think is stupid or wrong. In my job teaching medical residents, I work with them on empathy and how to use empathic words. Often, however, what comes out is just “I’m sorry.” When we talk about empathy, we really mean trying to stand … [Read more...]

Self-Care for the Holidays

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You can feel the intensity starting about a week before Thanksgiving. People are beginning to make lists, worry about family gifts, think about how much money to spend, and stress over getting through all of their holiday responsibilities. It doesn’t matter if you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah, or Kwanza, the pressure is on! Once we make it through the non-denominational Thanksgiving dinner, it is almost as if the anxiety about the holidays becomes more prominent than the holiday itself. … [Read more...]

What Is Mindfulness, Anyway?

And Breathe

    Mindfulness has become such a hot buzzword, that it is used all the time.  People refer to it when they talk about medication, or relaxation, or doing yoga.  Recently, I picked up two magazines totally devoted to “Mindfulness” and neither one of them defined what it meant.  These publications talked about improving sleep, reducing stress, and even faith, but never defined what mindfulness is.  So I thought it was time to do that. Essentially, Mindfulness is awareness or focus on … [Read more...]

How to Keep New Year’s Resolutions

New Year resolutions

As I thought about New Year’s Resolutions, it occurred to me that they often derive from some negative way that we see ourselves. I spend too much money; therefore, my resolution is that I will save more. I am 10 pounds overweight; thus, I will exercise more and eat healthy. I work too much, so I resolve to spend more time with my family.   The problem with these resolutions is not only that they come from some judgmental part of our self-image, but that they are hard to keep. We all have … [Read more...]

Conquering Procrastination in 2017

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Want to change one thing in the New Year? For many of us, the most valuable would be to stop procrastinating.  Whether you are a student struggling with the conflict between school work and video gaming, a mom who has a list that never ends, a woman who still has not put her winter clothes in the closet, or a manager who cannot seem to complete those deliverables until the last minute, conquering procrastination can help all of us in many areas of life. People procrastinate for a lot of … [Read more...]