One Microstep that I use is “Before you get into bed, escort your devices out of your bedroom.” I used to take my cellphone to the bedroom, and I would hear the beeping or see the screen flash on. Of course I wanted to know what was going on, so I checked my phone. I really wasn’t sleeping well, so I started silencing my phone and charging it in the kitchen at night. Now I sleep through the night without disruption.
Breathing exercises have also been a great relief for me. Sometimes when I talked with my spouse, he focused a lot on the negative. I did my breathing exercise, and once he was done talking I asked him to do the same. Breathe in, hold it, and breathe out. It really helps to change negatives into positives.
I have also started focusing more on my health since being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. In January 2021, my doctor told me that my numbers were too high and that I had three months to lower them. So I left and started limiting my carbs, cooking smaller portions, and walking a lot more. I use the Fitbit that Northwell gave us to track my progress. Since January I’ve lost 33 pounds! When I went back to my doctor in April, he said that my numbers were lower and I was doing great. I go back this week and I’m hoping to see good numbers.
It’s really exciting to see my family and friends respond to my new lifestyle changes. I know that they’re happy for me. I try to teach them to eat healthy and to walk around more during the day. I also try to set the example that we shouldn’t stress so much, and I hope it’s making us all happier. I want to support everyone’s happiness since there’s so much going on in the world right now. My dad will call me and tell me about what he hears on the news, and I know it takes a toll. I tell him that everything will be fine and to breathe in and out slowly. I can tell in his voice that he calms down.
At work, I use our Word of the Day to bring our team together. Before the pandemic, we would write a Word of the Day on a chalkboard in the office. Since our team has gone remote, I wanted to keep this tradition going. I started painting rocks and writing words on them to keep a smile on everyone’s face. It was a hit at Northwell, so I kept going and called it South Oaks Hospital Word of the Day. Since then, I’ve been asking my team to paint rocks and seashells for one of our co-workers who’s retiring soon. A lot of people have participated, and they’ll often walk by Carolyn’s garden and see the work they did. Everyone is really enjoying it, and it makes me so proud to be a part of such a great staff.