This semi-quarantined, semi-open summer has so far been full of fluctuations in perspective. In the course of a single week, it’s easy to go from hopeful and excited to fearful and shut down. I’ve had weeks of peacefulness and interspersed with real anxiety. At times I’ve felt more able than ever to look on the bright side, and sometimes it feels impossible to think positively. There’s nothing unusual about fluctuation, of course, but I think that the Covid crisis has shown me an…

As New York City reopens, I’m thinking a lot about the things that have sustained me most through the quarantine. I figure it can’t hurt to ask myself what buoyed me through all of this, and to consider the meaning of my answer. One of the things that I’ve been most grateful for is community. I’m accustomed to spending time on my own, but the Covid experience tested the limits of my comfort with solitude. At times, I felt acutely aware of being…

Lots of big firsts-in-a-while this week and last! First few subway rides. First couple of al fresco meals at local eateries. First indoor visit with my mom, though we still wore masks and kept distance. First time seeing a close friend or two. I’ve been building up to this, along with other New Yorkers. Grocery shopping has gradually gotten less tense and scary. Errands and walking around outdoors feels normal-ish again. Wearing a mask has simply become part of my routine; I hang…

I’ve been thinking lately about something that my friend Maria used to say to herself in the morning, “all I have to do today is take care of myself, and everything else will follow from that.” Except I’ve been turning it into a question—”what do I have to do today to take care of myself?”—knowing that everything else will fall into place if I stay true to the answer. This morning, when I asked myself the question, the answer was, “take it easy.”…

As you can probably tell from my last post or two, I’ve been working to find a helpful balance of doing and rest. I’ve never valued down time more than I do lately, but I also love my work, and it’s one area of my life that suffered with depression last summer. I’m striving to maintain a reasonable baseline of productivity lately, not because I measure my value by how busy I am, but because creating makes me feel alive. In the past,…

I was complaining to my therapist recently about a pattern of thinking and behavior that I just can’t seem to get unstuck from. “I don’t know whether it’ll ever change,” I said, blinking back tears. “And I don’t know how to change it, or what that even looks like.” She took a pause, and then said something to the effect of, “I don’t know, either. But I can tell you that it’ll happen gradually, and in lots of very small ways.” As soon…

In my private practice, I bear witness to difficult realizations about the limitations of human control when it comes to health. I work with a lot of people who are doing everything “right” in terms of diet and lifestyle—and by “right,” I mean that they’re doing what’s appropriate for their own, unique bodies—and yet they continue to struggle with chronic illness or other health challenges. It is very, very difficult for anyone to contend with a health scenario that can’t be controlled or…

    Each Sunday, I publish a post that includes personal musings and articles on medicine, science, and the human experience. These are reminders that health and wellness extend far beyond what's on our plates.