Professionals are Human too!

Health professionals are trained to work in a high demand and high stress environments but keep in mind, they are human, and we all make mistakes! They are more prone to burn out and a study found this can lead to increased risk of making poor decisions, behaving hostile towards their patients, increased medical errors and have potential difficultly maintaining relationships with their coworkers (Kumar, 2016). Other research suggests to address this issue of health professionals and burn out is provide training and access to programs related to mindfulness and self-compassion. Health professionals who are trained to be or are self-compassionate, correlate with lower levels of burn out, increased well-being (Durkin, Beaumont, Hollins Martin, & Carson, 2016), reduced perceived stress and potentially enhanced patient care (Shapiro, Astin, Bishop, & Cordova, 2005).


This suggests self-compassion is an important factor for health professionals for their own-well-being and daily life and their work life. Professionals are not perfect and mistakes happen. It would be important to remind ourselves to be self-compassionate. We should accept that we are only human, we make mistakes, and sometimes life can be difficult. Instead of being critical of yourself or ignoring the pain or difficulty you’re experiencing, take a moment, reflect and acknowledge what you are experiencing may be difficult, or it is painful, or you may have made a mistake. Finally, ask yourself how can I comfort and care for myself during this time?
For more information about Mindfulness and Self-Compassion based programs, ask the Wellness Centre at UHN to find out resources available on-site! Contact us at or 416.340.4800 x 4486


Check out other sources in Toronto: The Centre for Mindfulness Studies 

Durkin, M., Beaumont, E., Hollins Martin, C., & Carson, J. (2016). A pilot study exploring the relationship between self-compassion, self-judgement, self-kindness, compassion, professional quality of life and wellbeing among UK community nurses.

Nurse Education Today, 46, 109-114.

Kumar, S. (2016). Burnout and Doctors: Prevalence, Prevention and Intervention. Healthcare, 4(3), 37.

Shapiro, S., Astin, J., Bishop, S., & Cordova, M. (2005). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results From a Randomized Trial. International Journal Of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176.


DIY Candles and Bath Salts!

Come to the Wellness TGH  Oasis Centre on Thursday, February 23rd, 2017 at 12PM to 1PM.
Click HERE to Register!
For more information email us

Tusan Bean Soup


Some nice hearty soup to warm you up on a cold day like today!


Tuscan Bean Soup

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time : 25 minutes


  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil, (approx)
  • 1 large leek , (white and light green parts only), diced1 1large leekleeks, (white and light green parts only), diced
  • 1 potato , peeled and diced1 1potatopotatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic , sliced2 2cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 cups vegetable broth 4 4cups cups(1 L) (1 L) vegetable broth
  • 3 cups shredded Savoy cabbage 3 3cups cups(750 mL) (750 mL) shredded Savoy cabbage
  • 1 can (14 oz/398 mL) white kidney beans , drained1 1can (14 oz/398 mL) can (14 oz/398 mL)white kidney beanwhite kidney beans or mixed beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh oregano , (approx)1 1tbsp tbsp(15 mL) (15 mL) minced fresh oregano or fresh parsley, (approx)
  • 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) pepper
  • Grated parmesan cheese Grated parmesan cheese
  • Garlic Toasts:
  • 1/2 baguette 1/2 1/2baguettebaguettes
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) (25 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic , halved1 1large clove garliccloves of garlic, halved


In Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté leek, potato and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add broth and 2-1/2 cups (625 mL) water; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Stir in cabbage, beans, oregano, salt and pepper; cook for 10 minutes. Transfer 1 cup (250 mL) to blender and purée; return to pot and heat through. Serve sprinkled with more of the olive oil and oregano, and Parmesan cheese.

Garlic Toasts: Meanwhile, cut baguette into 12 slices; brush with oil. Broil until golden. Rub with garlic.

Source : Canadian Living Magazine: April 2010

Learning to say “I Love Me”

Instead of mercilessly judging and criticizing yourself for various inadequacies or shortcomings, self-compassion means you are kind and understanding when confronted with personal failings – after all, who ever said you were supposed to be perfect? – Kristin Neff

As most people know February is celebrated as Heart health month. Our cardiovascular health is influenced by our history but more importantly our daily actions and we have control over these.

The status of our health is affected by the foods we eat, the amount we sleep and the level of stress we experience during our day. That is why it is so important to be aware of our actions and daily routines. As simple as it seems we need to start being aware of our thoughts and feelings.


Valentine’s Day is all about sharing acts of kindness with the loved ones in our lives. Now that Valentine’s Day has come and gone it is important to show ourselves some love. This is done by being kind to ourselves to accepting ourselves for who we are. Even if a situation or event does not go as planned, we cannot beat ourselves up over it.

People always say that they don’t have time to do the things that they want. However it is important to keep in mind that self-care practices can be done throughout the day and can take very little time but still make an impact in our lives. Watch this TED TALK by Laura Vanderkam to learn about priorities and making time for what is important.

While working in health care how do you expect to help others if you don’t take the time to help yourself?


Befriending the Body & Mind

By: Teresa Young

Many of those working in helping professions, especially those in healthcare, are quick to focus on helping friends, patients, clients and coworkers manage their stress, yet take too little time to nurture and calm themselves. We often get so involved in ruminating over problems that we can’t seem to actually think about them.

“You cannot solve a problem with the same mind that created it” – Albert Einstein

Let’s all take a few minutes to focus on ourselves…

A body scan is a great way to relax, and has also been shown to reduce chronic and acute pain (Ussher, et al., 2014).

Body scans involve focusing on parts of the body, usually from the toes to the top of the head, and noticing sensations, thoughts and emotions without judgment.

And how do you notice these things and not judge them? For me, I like to imagine I am Jane Goodall observing the chimpanzees of my mind; taking note, but keeping my distance, so as not to disturb them.


Photo: Jane Goodall observes the jungle chimpanzees without judgement.

With practice, these scans can become second nature, and allow you to calm your busy mind any time. For now, though, to get you started, follow along with Michael Apollo as he guides you through a 15 minute exercise.


  1. Immediate effects of a brief mindfulness-based body scan on patients with chronic pain.  Ussher, Michael, et al. (2014)  Journal of Behavioral Medicine. Vol. 37, Iss. 1.