What’s up y’all! Hope everyone is doing okay. I know how most of you feel, since I’m actually seeing patients in a clinic. A clinic without enough masks, where we’re still seeing 80-yo patients for blood pressure checks.
I know many of you are emotionally exhausted by the news and worried about your own health, and fearing exposing your family members.
At the same time we’re in such a privileged position to be able to make sense of everything that’s going on. And we can help out our communities by providing them health care, advice, and reassurance.
I also know some of you are losing out on a lot of income right now. But you’re also perhaps spending less money. Most of our extracurricular activities have been halted by the social distancing and closure of bars, restaurants, gyms, and even the great outdoors.
I have a few things that I’m focusing on during this pandemic crisis. And I’m trying to take it day-by-day but also believe that, realistically, it’s going to go on until mid-summer. And we’ll likely have some anxious moments next fall.
#1. My Health
My mental health is even more important than my physical health during these times. It just so happens that if I don’t exercise I get depressed as fuck. My anxiety level shoots up and I make bad decisions.
I’ve been getting a lot of walking in. And I’ve been working on my grip strength, push-ups, and pull-ups against the door frame. I’m doing more squats and burpees.
For the mental health I am doing more yoga and doing some meditation when I walk. Basically, whenever I’m worrying about something, thinking about the past or future, I know that I’m not in my zen-mode.
I learned a new technique – a grounding technique. It’s been a fun exercise to do in order to get my head from thinking about unnecessary shit.
- 5 things I can see
- 4 things I can feel
- 3 things I can hear
- 2 things I can smell
- 1 thing I can taste
#2. My Relationships
As an introvert I naturally gravitate towards isolating myself from others. But I recognize the value of cultivating my relationships with my family, significant other, and friends.
I am no zen master, I can’t be jovial when I’ve finished a clinic shift in Compton and drove past crackheads beating up on each other and taking shits on the side walk.
But once I’ve had a chance to ground myself again I leave voice mails for friends, text my buddies, and spend quality, mellow time with my partner. It’s a great feeling. Very restorative.
I’ve learned that I don’t have to see my friends in person to stay close to them. This is something I knew from before, but COVID definitely solidified this further.
#3. My Business
I am working on the Digital Nomad Physician brand, which is this website. I’m enjoying learning the art of writing and creating digital content, for sale.
My business is a creative outlet which also earns me money. In fact, anything you do that brings value to others will eventually make you money. It’s a matter of time and paying attention to the details.
I’ve cut back on consulting and coaching. That’s been helpful. I’ll pick it back up when I have more headspace.
I am working 4 full days in the clinic right now. And I’m doing telemedicine work as well for a company.
#4. My Telemedicine Practice
I have been slowly growing my Medical Health Coach brand. This is my own private health coaching business. It’s really important to me that I do it right – and I haven’t yet figured how I want to do it.
The future of MHC will be a mix of telemedicine and health coaching. I’ve had a hell of a time figuring out which patient population to focus on.
Ideally, I want to build it around a concierge or retainer model. Still experimenting. This blog has been great for me to throw around my ideas. And I pay for my own career coaches who are helping me design the business properly.
#5. My Finances
My finances are on cruise control. I really don’t mess with them too much and only check on account balances when I’m writing relevant content for this website.
I’m not oblivious to current market changes. Everyone says that this market downturn is different from the others. That this one is the big one. That we haven’t hit the bottom yet. That the financial stimulus will break the US economy.
I don’t care if those things are right or wrong. Just like I’m not going to stop exercising even if I might contract COVID tomorrow and suffocate to death. Still gonna do my burpees & push-ups. And I’m still gonna invest broadly in the economy.
I have been steadily buying my index funds. I’ll keep buying them as they go down and I’ll keep buying as they go up.
#6. Sensory Hygiene
I’ve always had all notifications on my phone turned off. And I stopped following news years ago. It’s quite liberating.
I am also going through my blog and podcast subscriptions and updating those as well. If something is important enough, I’ll go to that website and read it.
There are a few forums where I’m still active. Mostly listening to people who are far smarter than me. And I contribute to a few medical websites. But recently noticed subtle sarcasm and negativity when I write something – so, I’ve been more deliberate in my writing in order to avoid that.
Our jobs as medical professionals have never been so secure. Even though some of us are losing out on income, the job security and future income potential is damn near guaranteed.
I am taking this time to fine-tune my business ideas. I’m striking up new relationships. I am finding new healthcare consulting client (for the future). And I am doubling down on what’s been working for me.
This is also the time to stop doing what hasn’t been working for you; getting out of a shitty investment or walking away from a poor real estate decision.
This crisis showed me that I don’t need my rock climbing gym as desperately as I thought. That I don’t need to work in a coffee shop to feel productive. That I don’t need to travel to feel content.
This is the opportunity to appreciate that we can get by on a lot less.