My Self-Care SummerHey Girl, Hey! In the revered words of Fresh Prince & DJ Jazzy Jeff, it’s “Summer Summer Summertime, time to sit back and unwind!” This Summer, I’m heeding their advice!How you ever been in a place you feel overwhelmed, overworked, over-committed; and at the same time under-appreciated, under-supported, and undermined??I found myself being irritable, frustrated, aggravated and ill! I had been burning both ends of my candlestick WAY too often. Sound familiar to anyone?. When I find myself in this place, almost undoubtedly I am becoming resentful BECAUSE I have not been true to my boundaries.I see a therapist on a regular basis. I decided to bring up these feelings. She immediately asked me these questions: “What are you doing for self-care,” and “What do you need to do to repair the fences of your boundaries and restore you balance?”I thought about these questions for a few days, and I decided I needed to do some things differently—STAT!First, I set some serious boundaries at work. A complex set of issues and events left my team SWAMPED with patients, many of whom were scared and disgruntled due to no fault of ours. Suddenly my workload doubled and nearly tripled! For a couple months, I was simply swept along by the tsunami, then I decided to take control of the situation and restore some sense of balance—while we are doing all we can to help the folks in need, I decided we could no longer do that at the expense of myself and my team—we had to set some boundaries for the purpose of safety and sanity.Next, I focused on self care. My goals looked like this:Eat better: I certainly didn’t have the time to add cooking to my workload, but had to get better fuel than fast food, so I started ordering meals from Factor (you’ve probably seen them on social media). The meals are delivered to my door each week and are DELISH!Move my body: I got back on my fitness journey going to classes at Towne Fitness and signing up for 2x weekly yoga and meditation at the Center for Mindful Exploration at Hillside.Focusing on skin, hair, nail care. I found amazing estheticians, Britney at Lewminous Skincare in West Point; and Ashly at Just Peachy Waxing Studio. Protective hair styling in the summer time for Black women is a MUST! So Diamond Williams at The Mane Bar and Takara Davis at Pretty Hair Braiding have been hooking me up with hair treatments and Boho box braids. In addition, I’ve been taking the Nutrafol hair vitamins and Flo vitamins for skin—the difference is amazing!Regular Massage and Meditation. I found the Best. Massage. Ever. At Thrive Studio, and there is also opportunity for meditation and Spiritual health. Plus, I LOVE the meditation during my yoga classes.I am finally starting to feel more like “ Joy” again! Of course, accomplishing balance meant accepting help from the doctors on call so that I could have uninterrupted time just for me. That made some folks unhappy, and it was hard to hold that space under the tension to “people please.” Boundaries are VERY NECESSARY! I bet you could say the same thing for yourself. Put your own oxygen mask on first before trying to help others.Join me of YouTube @DeliveringJoyMD and on BeeTV for my Self-care Summer Series to see how I’m getting my groove back!XOXO,Dr. Joy

Fun in the Colorado Rockies presenting my research at the National Assoc. of Women’s Health Obstetrics & Neonatal Nurses Conference June 2022

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