Your "Doctor's Note"

Dr. Cindy Haines Health Guide
  • As we head into a long holiday weekend, I want to extend an invitation to you: An invitation to truly disconnect from your busy, crazy, chaotic life and reconnect with what is most important.


    Hold on, stay with me…I'm not going to say the old standard - your loved ones, friends, and family. I'm not even going to go the other way and suggest focusing on the parties, food, and fireworks.


    The invitation is to focus on you.


    In going full steam ahead in our busy lives, barreling forward towards a long holiday weekend, we can be so counterproductive to our own needs; we are hurrying up so we can relax. And a just-as-busy-but-in-a-different-kind-of-way weekend doesn't really do the trick in resetting our clock or preserving our battery.

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    As I explore this analogy, I think of my iPhone. Oh, what a great invention - I can stay connected to my virtual world at all times - and my virtual world can stay connected to me. I can also never really shut off. I am essentially accessible to stimuli and external input at all times. And it can also be so annoying - the more you use it, the less battery life it seems to be able to offer - but you still need it all the same. It just feels like it's not as strong, steady, or reliable. But your expectations of it remain the same - it had better perform.


    The director of technology at another company I am affiliated with recently let me in on a little secret to helping preserve my iPhone's battery life: Double click the big button on the bottom of your phone and all the programs running are displayed along the bottom edge. You can hold one of them down, to get them to "jiggle" so you can choose to close them out. Doing this regularly - being mindful of the background programs that could drain your iPhone and consciously closing down the ones you do not currently need - literally strengthens the life of your iPhone.




    Could humans and the iPhone have something in common there?


    What "background programs" are constantly running in your life? What could you, once mindful of it, consciously choose to close out when you are not in need of it in that moment? Could it be leaving your iPhone at home sometimes? Could it be removing an email account from it for a long holiday weekend, so you aren't tempted to get pulled back in?


    Or what about just being OK with taking some downtime just for you? Saying no to that extra party or event you know you are going to have to really rev yourself up for?


    So here, I give you a "doctor's note" - permission to just focus on yourself for a little while. It's just a little extra juice if you need it, intended to encourage you to allow/empower yourself to take the time you need and create the space you crave, to ensure your battery life is extended as much as possible.


    For even more tips on how to get better health and need the health care system less, check out: The New Prescription: How to Get the Best Health Care in a Broken System by Dr. Cynthia D. Haines, M.D. (Dr. Cindy Haines) and Eric Metcalf, M.P.H. This is a book about getting what you really want: better health on your own terms. More medical care doesn’t mean better health. Dr. Haines and Metcalf reveal some of the most egregious problems with a medical system gone awry, opening readers’ eyes to how to better navigate the changes underway. Using solid research, insiders’ insights, and patient anecdotes, they offer cost-effective and potentially life-saving ways to get more out of health care while using less of it.


Published On: July 03, 2013