Category Archives: Other Things

The Importance of Having Fun

During patient consults, we talk about “the usual,” such as medication regimen, nourishment and movement. Depending on the patient, we might also discuss certain events in their life pertinent to these questions and delve into very specific pieces around sleep. These are topic areas and questions that you’d expect during a combined medicine for the mind and nutrition appointment. 

But there is room for a larger – and very important question. This bigger question that I have been asking patients (and myself), is ‘What are you doing for fun?’ 

I ask about fun because having fun and making sure we are striving for down time and balance in our busy and challenging lives is essential. It absolutely plays a role in our nourishment, movement and mental health. If the balance in our lives is off and skewed towards there being no fun, we have limited capacity for any kind of equilibrium.

I like to understand what my patient does for fun, as this helps me get a sense for who they are as an individual. I want to understand them and learn what their outlets, values and joys are.  

When I asked patients what they are doing for fun recently, these were some of the responses. Allow me to share them with you!

  • ‘My wife and I are throwing me a big birthday party – outside!’
  • ‘Taking walks with my dog.’
  • ‘Paying attention to myself in an appreciative non-judgemental way.’
  • ‘Dancing with my friends on the dance team.’
  • ‘Going to a concert.’

This was one of my favorites: ‘What is fun, Robyn?’ This brought on a full belly laugh out loud moment for me and my patient!

In asking my patients about what they do for fun, I realized that I needed to be having more fun myself. In working with patients and clients I truly believe if we are not doing work ourselves, we cannot be our best as clinicians. In order for me to ask about others in a way that cares for them, I need to be sure I’m also caring for me. 

Recently, for fun, I went to my first concert in two years! I love smaller venues and up-and- coming bands. A friend and I saw a group that I have been playing on repeat for months. We had a blast! 

What are you doing for fun? Has fun been a priority? If it hasn’t, try giving it the attention it deserves – you deserve it!

New Year’s Intentions – My Promises to You

When you flipped the calendar to 2021 – how did that change feel to you? You may have felt relief. Hope. Perhaps even unsettled as the first week of January evolved. However you are feeling, explore those feelings. I hope 2021 is full of wonderful things for you. 

I’d like to share my five top intentions for 2021. These are focused on my private practice services and how I intend to be present, resourceful and a “nutrition mentor” (and psychopharmacologist) for you in the new year. My hope is that by being clear and purposeful, even more learning will arise from these for you and for me

Virtual Sessions Intentions 

In the past, I would not have ever ‘met’ a patient for an initial appointment virtually. I felt  it lacked a lot in terms of body language, family systems (when meeting with kids and their parents), and establishing trust.  

You and I have now been meeting virtually since March of last year. I have learned that virtual sessions, even from the beginning of meeting a client or patient, can and do offer safety, comfort and convenience. As well, they provide intimate support between the patient and clinician without needing to be face-to-face.  

Looking ahead, virtual appointments will continue across the board for initial and  follow-up appointments. I will also continue to provide brief check-in sessions for  medication changes or adjustments. Telehealth counseling is largely covered by insurance. 

Greater Boston Wellness Collaborative Intentions  

The Greater Boston Wellness Collaborative is a group of like-minded clinicians in the field of eating disorders. We have been meeting every other week at least for four years, and we continue to meet virtually during the pandemic. We even had a half day socially distanced retreat (masks on) around a fire pit in October!  

Our team has been seeing patients and families virtually and collaboratively. We have also been reviewing and updating our mission statement as a group. Our mission reads: 

Our mission is to provide exceptional multi-disciplinary care to individuals and families experiencing eating disorders, disordered eating, body image challenges and related issues. Together we will create solution-focused plans that support you in living a freer and more fulfilling life.  

You can also read this on the homepage of our (always in progress) website. My intention this year is to continue helping our group grow in depth and size such that when patients are in need of more of a collective group approach between outpatient and intensive outpatient levels of care, we will be able to support you seamlessly.  

Self Care Intentions 

I’ve always been a big proponent of non-western medicine and adjunct treatment processes. This winter I have recommended a bright white light and light therapy to nearly every patient I see. I’ve used one between October and April for years. I will keep looking for ways to take care of me and I will continue to recommend self-care to you.   

Genetic Testing Intentions  For my patients to whom I prescribe medication, knowledge of how a person metabolizes and responds to medication is important. I use Genomind testing with patients and find it even more useful now that the company has streamlined and upgraded their results. Some insurances cover this testing when necessary. 

Pet Therapy Intentions 

My pets (Ivy, Blizzard and Mittens) are always available to make appearances in virtual sessions with you upon request! Ivy the Portuguese Water Dog is now a Canine Good Citizen and is happy to help you with your healing!

When meeting you virtually for the first time, having one of my pets available builds trust and sets a more relaxed tone for our first meeting together. Yes, my three pets have their own Instagram page; Blizzard gets the most likes. Here is the picture of Blizzard and Eve from 2017 that receives more likes, follows and reposts than I can fathom!

On to 2021! My intentions above are in place to help you toward a happy and peaceful year. As always, I welcome your feedback on time that we spend together.