March 2021 marks a full year of the pandemic in Ohio. To say that the last 12 months have been challenging is certainly an understatement. It is nearly impossible to find words to accurately articulate the level of difficulty that we—as health care providers, scientists, educators, employees, learners and citizens—have faced the last 365 days.
As a nation, we are experiencing a wide assortment of emotions, from fear and anxiety to isolation and exhaustion. Many have suffered loss. Loss of jobs. Loss of loved ones. Loss of social activities. And in the midst of all this, it is easy to lose sight of one of the most important facets of a fulfilling life—the preservation and cultivation of our own wellness.
Well-being is one of my top priorities, and I truly hope it is one of yours. After all, if we are not healthy, we cannot enjoy our work, our families and friends, our lives. We must remember to take care of ourselves.
I will offer you some advice about how to improve your own health and wellness. You can start by scheduling your annual physical examinations and the health screenings that are so important to your long-term health. Pay attention to balanced eating. Protect your sleep time. Foster your friendships. Engage in recreation or hobbies. Have fun! Be present at important family events. Find joy in your work. And, finally, embrace hope. There is a bright light at the end of the tunnel. COVID-19 hospitalizations are at the lowest since April 2020, and nearly 2.5 million Ohioans have been vaccinated.
As I was preparing this blog, I discovered the song “Take Care of Yourself” by Maisie Peters. What a powerful and timely message she delivers in her lyrics:
“But the burden is heavy and overgrown
And God knows that we all get tired
It's a long night when you do it on your own…
So cut off a little slack and roll all your cavalry back
My love, take care of yourself”
Be well, my friends, and take care of yourselves.
Carol Bradford, MD, MS
Dean, College of Medicine
Leslie H. and Abigail S. Wexner Dean’s Chair in Medicine
Vice President for Health Sciences, Wexner Medical Center