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HCI Webinar: Teaching Mindfulness, Self-Care and Maintaining Healthy Habits In and Out of the Workplace, with Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier

In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier about teaching mindfulness, self-care and maintaining healthy habits in and out of the workplace. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!

Watch the episode here:

Quick Recap

The conversation between Jonathan and Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier focused on the importance of mindfulness, self-care, and maintaining healthy habits, particularly in the workplace. They emphasized the negative impacts of burnout, the importance of recognizing early signs, and the need for proactive measures to prevent it. The discussion also highlighted the significance of building resilience through habits like regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep. The conversation concluded with a focus on strategic planning for personal resilience, including identifying values and conducting a SWOT analysis to formulate a customized resilience strategic plan.

Mindfulness and Self-Care Conversation Preparation

Jonathan and Dr. Marie-Helene Pelletier, aka MH, discussed the upcoming conversation about mindfulness, self care, and maintaining healthy habits. Jonathan, in Utah, and MH, in Vancouver, agreed to a format of an organic conversation, with MH sharing her background and context. They also discussed the importance of applying these concepts to the workplace. The discussion concluded with Jonathan preparing to record the conversation.

Resilience and Burnout: A Conversation on Workplace Wellness

Jonathan emphasized the importance of engaging with work in a healthy and meaningful way, advocating for self-care and recognizing that work doesn't have to be a struggle. He introduced Marie-Helene Pelletier, a practicing resilience and anxiety psychologist with over 20 years of experience in clinical counseling and workplace psychology. The conversation was centered around the topic of resilience, with a focus on how to strategically build resilience in both personal and professional contexts. The discussion also touched on the negative impacts of burnout, including its causes, symptoms, and effects on individuals' relationships and needs.

Recognizing and Preventing Burnout

The doctor emphasized the importance of recognizing early signs of burnout, such as exhaustion, cynicism, and declining performance. He highlighted that often these initial signs are ignored, potentially leading to more serious conditions such as anxiety, depression, and physical issues like high blood pressure. Jonathan agreed, acknowledging the potential physical components that could accompany high levels of burnout. The doctor also stressed the need for proactive measures to avoid burnout, rather than waiting for it to occur.

Burnout Prevention: Recognize, Reflect, Reframe

Jonathan and Dr. discussed the importance of early diagnosis and proactive measures in addressing work-related stress and burnout. Jonathan emphasized the need to recognize signs of burnout, such as persistent cynicism and pessimism, and to take internal actions to prevent it. The doctor added that frequency and severity of these negative feelings can indicate a move towards burnout. They agreed on the importance of self-reflection and potential changes in habits and mindsets to prevent burnout.

Resilience Building in Healthcare: Prioritizing Habits and Mental Health

MH and Jonathan discussed the importance of building resilience in their personal and professional lives. They emphasized the need to develop good habits like regular exercise, a balanced diet, and sufficient sleep to mitigate challenges. They also highlighted the significance of mental health and the potential connection between gut health and resilience. The conversation concluded with the doctors outlining their plan to prioritize these aspects in their own lives.

Maintaining Healthy Habits Amidst Busy Schedules

The conversation focused on the challenges of maintaining a healthy lifestyle amidst a busy schedule. Both doctors acknowledged that while many people understand the importance of healthy habits like exercise, healthy eating, and sufficient sleep, few manage to sustain them due to time constraints. Jonathan emphasized the need to create habits and schedule time for these activities to increase one's capacity and overall well-being. The doctors also highlighted that resilience is not a fixed trait, but can be developed over time.

Strategic Planning for Personal Resilience

The discussion revolved around the importance of strategic planning for personal resilience. The doctors highlighted the necessity of identifying values and conducting a SWOT analysis to formulate a customized resilience strategic plan. Jonathan shared his experience of using sabbaticals as a mechanism to reset and recharge, emphasizing the importance of proactive management of workload to prevent burnout. The doctors suggested incorporating frequent check-ins as part of the strategic plan to maintain resilience. They also emphasized the interconnectedness of workplace dynamics, with individuals' resilience impacting others and the organization as a whole. The conversation concluded with the doctors encouraging strategic thinking and action to support personal resilience.

Listen to the webinar here:

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