Lessons from the Pavement

So last week, just a few days after I had returned from Rancho La Puerta, a place that I call heaven on earth, where I gave a series of wellness talks, I took a massive fall. You would think the zen vibes of the place would have lingered, but no. As I was racing out of my daughter’s school assembly in order to make a dentist appointment for the tooth I had broken from grinding (yes, I have a night guard and no, I don’t wear it.) my foot hit a bump and I went flying on the pavement. No, I didn’t just trip and fall. I literally flew down the street and onto my face. Like a slip and slide but without the slide. As I look up to make sure I’m still alive, I see parents running towards me, shocked to notice that I made out with only a small abrasion on my knee and a cracked phone case. How I could have withstood that massive fall with only a scrape, I have no clue. Other than to say that the universe was saying, slow the f@$% down or next time you’ll need a rhinoplasty. We all need a reminder to slow down. And perhaps in this season of end of school activities, summer planning, amongst all the usual madness, you need to be reminded as well. Have you ever heard the expression, slow down in order to speed up? There is so much truth to that saying. Sometimes we are trying so hard to do all the things at once that we are in fact getting in our own way, tripping over our own feet, making ourselves ineffective, unproductive, and even unsafe. Not to mention all the flowers we miss along the way because we lack the presence to notice. I know that many of us are afraid of slowing down, wrongly believing that it will be to our detriment, but all the evidence shows that we benefit in a multitude of ways when we do.


Better Health

Time off is associated with reduced stress, improvements in psychological health, improvements in physical health, including cardiovascular risk reduction, better sleep, better mood, stronger and more connected relationships.

Less Distraction

There is ample evidence that slowing down improves productivity. One reason is that when we try and do too much at the same time, we just distract ourselves. We are plagued by distraction. Research shows that we lose an average of 2+ hours per day as a result of distractions. The average time that’s spent on a task these days before we get distracted is, 11 minutes. And then it takes an average of 23 minutes to regain focus after a distraction! Managing tasks slowly and deliberately.

Less mistakes

There is endless data demonstrating the harm of living too fast. Take doctors, for example. A Mayo Clinic survey of almost 6,700 doctors in the U.S. found that 10.5% reported making a major medical error in the past three months. These errors included things like writing incorrect prescriptions, anesthesia errors, poor or ineffective patient communication, and even more egregious errors that sadly are life-threatening. Many, if not most, of these errors could be averted if we slowed down gaining greater focus and attention to detail and to our work. What do you lose when you make a mistake?


Roses anyone?

And what about all that we miss when we are moving too fast? I know it’s cliche to say stop and smell the roses, but seriously, stop and smell the roses. Seemingly trivial things like roses, savoring your morning coffee, a meaningful chat with a colleague in the break room or a fully present hug (it takes 20 seconds, by the way, to get the full effect of a hug,) the beauty of the spring season, the weather, the bird songs…


What about all the things you’ve worked so hard to have. Presumably, you work hard to enjoy them. But do you really enjoy them? It might be wise to ask yourself, why the hell are you working so hard if you’re not taking the time to enjoy the things that you’re working for? And for those of you who are looking for the really momentous things to give you joy and make you happy, like when you’re going to get the promotion or launch the business or get X, Y, and Z, Studies show that we actually achieve more joy from the little things than we do from achieving those big things that we think will bring us joy and happiness. 

So what if I was not just talking about slowing down, but of actually taking a pause? As summer is coming, many of you are thinking about their summer vacations, but many of you are not. 

According to a Safety+Health survey published in April 2023, 39% of U.S. workers didn’t take a vacation.  Another survey from earlier this year, showed that 53% of Americans planned to skip out on their vacation. And I get it. People think they have too much work to do, or are afraid of what bosses or coworkers will think or have been conditioned to think that not working makes you lazy, or think working more will pay off in the long run. All those things. 

But that is the wrong mindset, and just wrong, period. As stated in an article by Inc. “When you keep trucking on, you become less efficient and less effective.”

Whether you are employed and working outside the home or you are caretaking for young children, or are caretaking for parents or just stuck doing all the things that nobody else can and will do, you are working. And you, too, need to take time off to rest, to recoup, and to rejuvenate, because burnout is not reserved for the boardroom. We all can burn out from any type of work and from our lives if we don’t take the time to give back.

So yes, taking time away is good for your work, and for everything else. In short, time off is good for your entire life, mind, body, and soul.

So two years ago, in June of 2022, I decided to take a sabbatical. It was a radical idea for someone who did summer school practically every summer of my life and who went back to work weeks after having my first child.

But I realized something. We are both terribly important and also insignificant at the same time. Don’t get me wrong. You are all important. But in the big picture, we are just one life in the sea of many. And while who we are and what we do is important, life will continue without us. But for us, we are important, there is only one us, and this is our only one and only life. Our time here is precious, valuable, and limited.

And so I’m doing it again. I’m taking some time off and taking some time away. Not because I don’t absolutely love what I do, because I genuinely love what I do. And I wish to do it with the energy, creativity, vitality and love.

So my friends, HealthBite will go on a four week hiatus. In the meantime, I’ll be replaying some of Health Bite’s greatest hits- the most listened to, and the most impactful episodes. I will also continue sending out this weekly newsletter. I hope to update you in this newsletter with what I will be experiencing and learning in the next month, with the hope that it will inspire you to do the same.

Before we close, I want to remind you that we always make time for what we value. And when we value ourselves, we will make time to do the things that serve us, mind, body, and soul. If you’re already vacationing this summer, I wish you safe travels. And if you were not planning on it, I hope this message gave you a change of heart.

ake time to slow down, to rest, and to rejuvenate. You are worthy of that time, of the rest, and of self-care. 

Until then, take good care.







My mission is to educate, empower and inspire my patients to achieve health and wellness by drawing on best medical practices and a holistic mind-body approach while integrating my personal value system grounded in empathy, integrity and authenticity

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