Seven Secrets Of Wellbeing - Dr Maya Shahsavari
We are all aware of the immense strain put on frontline NHS staff at present. People cope in different ways but for Dr Maya Shahsavari, a specialist registrar in ENT surgery based in Dundee, looking after her own mental health and wellbeing is paramount. ‘My spiritual practice has been a huge help to me so I have the coping mechanism to deal with the devastating effects of Covid-19, which I see first hand,’ she says.
With long hours and distressing sights, the overwhelming pressure – both physical and mental - placed on NHS workers is clear. ‘But I feel my work with the NHS, particularly during this difficult time, is sheer privilege – it has enabled me to help the most vulnerable patients during their darkest hour.’
Maya’s background as a 13-year old refugee from Iran, her birth country, was incredibly tough. Through her experiences, however, she discovered the nature of being resilient. We love what she says here: ‘I’ve learned through hardship that being flexible and in the moment helps to ride the waves and the storm. If you’re too rigid, you’ll bend or break but if you can float and fly, you simply ride the waves and the wind. Follow the path of least resistance; that way your focus is not on survival but on the beautiful scenery as you get swept along for the ride.
You can follow Maya @drmaya_surgeon. Meanwhile, here are the ‘secrets’ she wants to share.
1. Practise self-love. It’s a long journey but definitely worth taking. I know my wellbeing runs its roots deep within my soul and embraces my perception of the divine feminine.
2. Honesty and kindness are qualities I rate highly. That’s being kind and truthful both to other people and myself. The more honestly you face yourself, the louder your intuition and inner voice gets. I rely on that voice for everything I do and everything I am.
3. Address emotional baggage. I struggled with weight in my teens and although I am the healthiest I’ve ever been and look the best I’ve ever done, I still have unresolved issues associated with that. I do have to address it on a daily basis. I follow a morning routine that means taking ‘me time’. I work out, meditate and set my intentions for the day including how I choose to feel about myself and my life that day. I include a thank you to my body for housing my soul and helping me navigate this dimension. I remind myself that my self worth and my perception of my own beauty lies at deeper levels than those the outside world dictates.
4. Never go to sleep with make up on. My skin lets me know when I’ve done her wrong!!
5. My inspiration is Mother Nature: I have a scientific mind, a hippy soul and a magnificent imagination. Nature is where I go to remember how to breathe, to recharge and get back to creating my life in a way that is worthy of me. Nature is the perfect example of demonstrating beauty in imperfection, order in chaos and room for diversity and individuality. Its magic lies in its ability to allow individual expressions of all living things, bound together by love and oneness. If only we could create a society that allowed for harmony in our differences and permitted people to celebrate their uniqueness in peace. One can dream!
6. A daily vitamin D supplement by Vitabiotics. I’m vegan but have not needed to take any other supplements. Most people living in colder Western climates are low on vitamin D and it’s such an important nutrient for your immune system and general wellbeing.
7. Be fluid and switch gears as necessary. I work extremely hard when needed and do absolutely nothing when it feels like the right time for it. I read a lot - getting lost in my imagination and my own ‘mind bubble’ (not the Covid regulatory one…) is my favourite thing to do. I recommend The Treasury of the True Dharma Eye by Kazuaki Tanahashi and also The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, which I am reading for the third time.