COVID19 Goals Planners

Day 17: New Month

April 1, 2020

Thank you for your voices of support and commiseration yesterday. I did feel sad. I spent some time wallowing in it yesterday, and also some time reflecting.

And thankfully, today I am feeling better. Have I reached “acceptance”? Who knows? Maybe by Thursday I’ll have another crying jag. But maybe not.

On my reflection (and analysis of the dreams I keep having which involve residency-type clinical care situations — last night in my dreamworld I was rounding on an endless stream of plastic surgery patients). I think so much of it is related to a perceived loss of autonomy and control.

BUT, in a way this is also an illusion. No one can force me to do anything. I believe there are many ways in which I can remain valuable to the healthcare system, none of which involve surgical rounds. And at the end of the day, I have control over my actions and destiny. I could resign (NOT planning on doing this, but it’s important to remember that no one is holding a gun to my head making me continue on my career trajectory). And you know what? I am even pretty confident that my career trajectory will be fine. I have a valuable skill set that isn’t going anywhere no matter what happens during this pandemic.

Then there’s the flip side. In contrast to my own actions and behaviors, I do not control outside events. Even if I “felt” in control before, this pandemic is a reminder that this was an illusion, too. I certainly didn’t write “COVID-19” in my planner and cross off all of the in-person events, but it still happened.

All that said, there are things that I do have control over. So many small choices in how I spend my days. Choices on which routines I want to focus on, and which projects I want to devote free moments too. Even choices about what to read and which workouts to do! Or how I structure my work days when I am working from home.

I woke up today determined to focus on the things I can control. I cannot dwell on when life will return to some form of normal. I CAN try to make the best of this time, which is sure to be memorable for decades to come.

Some goals for April:

Develop effective workday rituals for this new mostly-work-from-home era.

Daily habits/self-care (listed above). I need these anchors now more than ever!

BETTER screen hygiene. I let mindless scrolling/refreshing get completely out of hand in March. I am going to reign it in.

Tomorrow I will review Q1’s goals. Some of them were met. Others now sound ridiculous! Stay tuned . . .


  • Reply Amanda April 1, 2020 at 6:42 am

    Just like A, I’ll be celebrating my own birthday at home this year, too (instead of at a seder with friends). I agree it’s so important to focus on the things we can control and that make us feel like ourselves. Your April goals – self care is what I call my daily checklist, which is that much more important right now.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa's Yarns April 1, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I am glad that you are feeling better. I’m having a hard time with COVID and I’m not working in healthcare. It’s tough to have so little control and to not know when there is an end in sight to what we are going through. It’s hard to not have things to look forward to…

    A note about A’s birthday – when I look back at my birthday I spent at home, what I remember most is my parents waking me up on my birthday morning. My dad was usually at work when we woke up, but he stayed home those mornings so he could be there to sing happy birthday to us when we woke up. And then we’d get to pick dinner, which was a big deal in a family with 5 kids! I had fun birthday parties, too, but what I remember and appreciate the most was those little things my parents did! So try not to worry too much about this birthday being a big blow to A. Hopefully she can have a party later this year when things are back to normal. But I am sure you can find lots of ways to make her feel really special! And maybe you can set up a zoom date with some of her buddies? I think zoom is offering free video calls for 40 minutes so I bet you could fairly easily organize something if you know the other moms? I’ve been dong regular zoom calls with some of my friends I met through blogging and it’s been soooo wonderful!

  • Reply Gillian April 1, 2020 at 9:31 am

    I think it is important to remember that outpatient medicine serves a really important role right now. We are working to keep people healthy and out of the ED and inpatient wards. Every diabetic I can keep healthy during this time is a diabetic not in the ED or in need of a hospital bed. That has value! I remind myself of that daily in this time.

    • Reply Sarah Hart-Unger April 1, 2020 at 10:15 am

      Great point and thank you ❤️

  • Reply Molly April 1, 2020 at 12:05 pm

    I haven’t commented before but love the podcast and appreciate your honesty (and consistency posting!) on the blog. I saw a meme the other day that said “sorry, this is my first pandemic” and I think it is totally valid to be changing daily or even hourly how we are processing everything. I am trying to be extra gracious to myself and others as we navigate these unprecedented new times!

  • Reply Christina April 1, 2020 at 12:36 pm

    Seconding the above about keeping people out of the ER and hospitals in general right now! I don’t think I’ve commented before, but have lurked for quite awhile. My 1 year old was diagnosed T1D in January after a DKA episode. We are really grateful for every telemedicine appointment, the ability to share cgm data with our clinic, and every provider who is willing to prescribe 3-6 months of supplies right now so we can protect our whole family.

  • Reply Ana April 1, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    I could’ve written most of this (and I did! kind of). My goals are very similar to yours in terms of self-care, but I really had to stop trying to plan anything else more than 1-2 days in advance. Even planning out my days the way I wanted them fell apart, since they now want us to stick to our previous clinic schedule for telehealth (which is SUPER annoying, but easier for schedulers I guess and new patients might get added on day of if they see “open spots”) and the kids stuff keeps changing (teachers added zoom meetings all of a sudden—not required, but we’re trying to do them) which involves switching out devices (we don’t have enough for everyone!) AND restrictions keep changing so even walks/bike rides/runs are getting more & more restricted over time.

  • Reply Alyssa J Moore April 1, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    I switched to Full Focus Planner Bold and I’m loving it. Thank you! 🙂

  • Reply Erica S April 2, 2020 at 9:48 am

    I have some ideas for how to make A’s birthday special!

    Griffin’s birthday was last Wedneday and he was very sad that we had to cancel all of his parties. I asked his close friends to contact him via Skype or Facetime, and that really made his day! We also had a virtual birthday party last weekend. it was smaller (had 5 total kids) but they did a Lego building challenge. It worked out really well. My friend did something similar with her daughter, who is 10, they did a baking project together. Each kid on the zoom call made a blueberry crumble.

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