A Note From Brenda

My road. My story. My hope. 

Trust the timing of life and don't wait for the right time. 
I didn’t go straight to university and medical school. I became a laboratory technologist and then returned to learning as a mature student after a divorce and sensing my body’s first hints at what would become the deep depths of infertility. My path led me to medicine, and I became a medical doctor at the age of 34 and a radiologist with two subspecialty fellowships at the age of 41. I re-married, found my life partner and became a mother at the age of 48 through adoption.  Some things have to end for better things to begin. 

I have a great position in a growing city in one of the most beautiful places in Canada. But as the world made its way through 2020 and 2021, I found myself burning out. I was a new, older mom, running three clinics through the first year of the pandemic. I would work 8-12 hours a day, come home put my daughter to sleep, and then spend the rest of the night dealing with issues coming out of the clinics and the impacts of COVID-19. We moved my elderly parents in the early months of the pandemic as they were dealing with physical and subsequent mental issues. I have had close friendships change and fade away, and after my father-in-law passed away, my daughter and I watched his funeral on Zoom from afar. I felt disconnected, isolated, faceless and, at times, overwhelmed and inept.

We all have our stories and hardships. I know I was and am not alone. The pandemic shifted our thoughts, goals, systems, and identities.

I knew I needed to take charge and do something. I wasn’t going to succumb. So, I focused on self-care. I worked with an accountability coach and started listening to audiobooks. I incorporated monthly tapping therapy, started journaling, and let go of relationships that didn’t serve me well. With the accountability program, I was encouraged to do some cardio every day. So, I started running. It wasn’t easy, but after about a month, it just felt so good. That session of cardio was my self-time. I could free my mind of stresses, allow my mind to be creative, and at the same time my body got stronger and more energetic. Tapping calmed my anxiety, helped me confront past traumas, address my imposter syndrome, and rekindle my self-love and assert self-worth. I practice daily affirmations and gratitude with positive psychology, alongside journaling, which helps to refine my goals and systems. My circle of friends is smaller but stronger and my emotional health has improved.  There is bravery in being soft. 

I was late to social media but started using Instagram to share my journey with hopes I would empower and encourage others to start their own journey of self-care. But I also shared my love to create, organize, and celebrate. And oh, how the details are my passion! It is through Instagram and the recognition of our similar shared passions through our posts, how Carolyn and I reconnected and bonded. This connection is special, and I am so grateful.
  
What do I do now? Daily Exercise, Affirmations and Tapping

Being a woman is hard.
Being a mother is hard.
Being a daughter is hard.
Being a wife is hard.
Being a friend is hard.
Being a doctor is hard.
But it all is also so rewarding and beautiful at the same time. 
Many ask how I do all that I do. 
After the death of my brother, I strive to live a full and satisfying life. Having strong routines and implementing healthy habits allow me the energy to do what I do (I can't emphasize that enough), but they also give me the courage to go after my dreams and goals and to practice self care and self love. 
I strive to exercise daily. Even 15 minutes a day is all one needs to improve mood and health. I now strength train, which helps prevent age related muscle and bone loss and lifts my mood and self-confidence. I love to run. Never thought I'd say that! But it helps calm my mind. It is an outlet. I don't do it every day now, but I do it as many times a week as I can.
I practice daily gratitude and affirmations. The science of gratitude indicates these practices improve psychological well being and improving well being. When I wake and do my hair / makeup, I practice affirmations. When my head hits the pillow, I give gratitude for three things a day. 
I incorporate routine EFT tapping with a tapping therapist and online with a monthly subscription to a tapping group. I am currently enrolled in a training EFT tapping program and will soon graduate as a certified EFT provider!
I also incorporate a therapist, a career coach, and partake in an online leadership program for female physicians, that help me deal with both personal and work development, conflicts and growth. 
Our road ahead
The hope is that Nurture and Bloom can elevate, empower, and allow other female physicians to make self-care a priority and allow them to connect and create healthier self-care systems in their own lives.

By providing accessible lifestyle resources, intimate events, and dedicated products, alongside a platform to share your stories, side gigs and accomplishments, Nurture and Bloom is designed to specifically augment your life.
My Favourite Affirmations
You are enough. It’s ridiculous how enough you are.
 
It’s important to do what is best for you, whether others approve of it or not.
 
Self-love takes strength.
 
Feel that wildflower energy running through you.
 
Every flower must grow through dirt.
 
The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. It blossoms and the bee comes.
 
There is bravery in being soft. 
Always bring your own sunshine. 
Be the one who always makes others feel included. 
Have a kind heart, a fierce mind and brave spirit.

 

A Note From Brenda
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