Room to Roam

This morning I took time out from my schedule to text one of my clients.  She’s an excellent leader – at the hospital where she’s a Division Chief, at home where she has a husband and 3 kids, in her medical research, and in her community. The COVID pandemic has been particularly intense for her, as you can imagine. We’re working together on bringing her back from the brink of the crisis that is burnout, so that she can function at her full brilliance and actually enjoy her life and work again.

I wrote to her “Thinking of you. How’s your stress level?  Any you-time coming up this weekend?”  

She responded that her stress is high and that she has family commitments all weekend. I wrote her the following response off the top of my head. Then it occurred to me that maybe she’s not the only one who needs to hear this message today.

“Is it possible to take a walk today or do something else where your brain doesn’t have a pre-assigned agenda? It needs room to roam! When you spend all day following other people’s agendas (your patients’, your family members’, your colleagues’, etc.), it becomes like a pot of boiling water with the lid left on for way too long. It’s important that you let off some steam every day so you can cook!

She said she’d find some time today without agenda. I know she’s going to love it,

This morning is lid-off time for me.  A cancellation in my schedule freed me up to follow my energy.  To my delight that led me to write my first blog post in over a year!

How do you make time for your brain to roam?  Comment below or email me!


  1. Joshua Gil Brickman

    This will be so critical as we head into what seems like it will be a very tough winter. Thanks for this!

    • Debra Woog

      So true, Josh.

  2. Julia Nilson

    This imagery really speaks to me! Today I am going to commit to ‘taking off my lid’ and walking to the grocery store mindful 😉 to not go over any agendas/to do lists and just be in the moment of the walk. Thank you Debra for sharing your inspiration today and making my day a little brighter!

    • Debra Woog

      Mindfulness is an excellent practice. It’s also perfectly allowed to have no plan at all for your mind for a given period of time.

  3. Jenny McFadden

    Finding time to let my brain roam right now is tough, because as much as I love the people in my house, they are always there! And so am I! I like to head out to my garden with headphones on and listen to a podcast while I weed. I like to create space for myself to not have to worry about anyone else for a little while.

    • Debra Woog

      Thanks for commenting, Jenny. I know exactly what you mean. Same at my house, with my teenagers in remote school full time. It’s challenging! I love that you have a safe escape that works well for you.