Mid-Week Balance: 19 December 2012

This week’s edition of MWB is much larger than normal.  Some of that is because I skipped the round-up last week to share a special post about supporting safe relationships.  And partly, this week is bigger because, in the face of the unimaginable losses in Newtown, I have been gathering resources left and right.  Writing and supporting mental health is how I cope with my own feelings of helplessness.  I hope that the resources I’ve found are helpful to you in this difficult time.

7632203602_1549d758cd_nResponding to Tragedy

From Melissa Taylor, at the Imagination Soup blog, comes this reminder to parents and other caregivers. When responding to tragedy, first, we must remember to put on our own oxygen mask.

On the KevinMD blog, psychologist Dr. Dominic Carone, explored how he talked with his own children about the events in Newtown.

This lovely segment from Sesame Street offers some good models for talking with children (and adults) about death and loss.

Dr. Susan Guirleo reminds us that part of responding to loss includes a passionate commitment to our own work to make the world a better place.

Dr. Brene Brown offers a beautiful prayer and additional resources, including the wise words of Fred Rogers.

Health Resources

I am finding more and more great patient voices to share.  I really appreciated this post, from Ellen Diamond, a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, who has learned that she can experience happiness even without perfect health.

I know that I write about meditation and mindfulness practice a lot. Here is one of the reasons. As more research is published, more doctors are recognizing that meditation can be genuinely helpful to those who live with pain.

The Healthcare Hashtag Project by the folks at Symplur, has done an incredible job of registering and tracking health related hashtags used on Twitter.  I couldn’t resist sharing this incredible graphic, which demonstrates that patient communities are increasing in size and activity.

And since part of my advocacy work is encouraging all of us to talk and think about end of life before we face a health crisis, I was thrilled to see this beautiful story from Dr. Charles Feng, about a patient who faced death with grace and generosity.

Self-Care Resources

Anna Guest-Jelley offers a post that is part yoga education and part lovingkindness (metta) meditation. After the devastation in Newtown, I think that a bit more lovingkindness is needed for all of us.

In the spirit of increased peacefulness, Dr. Rick Hanson offers five steps we can use to let go of our tendency to argue.

Leo Babauta shares one choice that he uses to improve nearly any moment.

More than usual, I hope that something I have shared here today helps you feel supported. As always, please feel free to share your own resources in the comments.


Image Credit: “Heart in Child’s Hands” photo by Lisa L. Wiedmeier via Flickr

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