Well-being Word

March 4, 2022

The Well-being Word

March 4, 2022

Erin Herrera, CRNA
Erin Herrera, CRNA
Associate Vice-Chair of Well-Being

Dare I say spring is beginning to show itself? This week my challenge to you is to begin to surface from those dark, cozy, winter caves, and begin to reemerge into the world!

Spring is a time of renewal and I encourage you to find time to refresh and renew yourself. Enjoy the warm days and find ways to connect again. Connections with other people are crucial for our physical and mental health.  We have planned some fantastic events to allow members of our department to improve our vital social connections—please take advantage of them!

Join me next week, Thursday, March 10 for casual drinks and snacks and to discuss and brainstorm ways we can improve our physical spaces. Dusica Stankovic, an architect specializing in well-being spaces, will be there to help us! Do we need more plants? Different paint colors? Exercise equipment? Come weigh in and learn about the SCIENCE behind well-being spaces as well as get to know other people from the department. Help me make our spaces here on campus healthier and more wellness-centered! RSVP to Maureen Arends if you would like to attend.

I hope to see you there!

Scroll through the events, add them to your calendar, form some new friendships!

We will be transitioning to a once-a-month newsletter to allow it to be even more action-packed and comprehensive! If there are specific topics you would like covered, events you would like to highlight, or photos you would like to showcase: please send them to us! We want this newsletter to be a great resource for all and to highlight the many joyful and positive happenings in the department of anesthesiology.

Yours in Wellness,


Upcoming Events

March 9 @6pm: My Journey to the Top of the World: Gosia Borchardt
Our very own Gosia Borchardt, CRNA, will be giving a presentation via Zoom to the Medallion Adventure Club about her successful summit of Mt. Everest. More information to come.
Add to: Google Calendar | Outlook | iCal File

March 10 @ 6-8pm: Well-Versed — A Discussion Club
Come have a glass of wine and a snack, and help us brainstorm ideas to improve our spaces, as well as tips for improving your home environment.
Add to: Google Calendar | Outlook | iCal File

March 20 @ 10am: March Wellness Walk
Shaw Nature Reserve
Come see spring begin to bloom at Shaw Nature reserve! A true hidden gem in St Louis! 
Add to: Google Calendar | Outlook | iCal File

April 9 @ 9am: Kids & Coffee
Chouteau Park 
Come join us for a casual morning of coffee, donuts, and playground action. This fantastic newly renovated park has playground equipment as well as basketball courts for older kiddos. 
Add to: Google Calendar | Outlook | iCal File

May 15 @1pm: Annie Malone Parade
Downtown St. Louis
Celebrate the amazing diversity here in St. Louis by walking with the Department of Anesthesiology in the Annie Malone Parade, the second largest African-American parade in the country! More information to come.
Add to: Google Calendar | Outlook | iCal File

May 1 @2pm: Anesthesia Day on the Farm
Join your WashU anesthesia colleagues at Brookdale Farms! There will be bonfires, food trucks (Byrd and Barrel and The Feed Wagon), Hayrides, a bounce house (suitable for kids AND adults), and a cash bar. 
Add to: Google Calendar | Outlook | iCal File

A Day in the Life of Jen Mahan

Jen Mahan, Fellowship Coordinator for the Trauma Anesthesiology Fellowship Program, gives us a glimpse into her everyday life!

A Day in the Life: Jen Mahan

6:30 a.m. – Alarm goes off the first time. I usually hit snooze a few times before rolling out of bed. Then it’s waking the kids up and getting them ready for school.

School Drop-off!

8:00 a.m. – Chauffeur my kids to school

8:30 a.m. – Home, turn on the computer, start the Keurig. I log into my computer and reach out to Jan and see how the morning went.  Getting myself organized and enjoying my coffee usually takes about an hour—this also includes random phone calls for emergencies, etc.  After I am organized, I take some time to gather data to fill in reports that I manage.

10:00 a.m. – This is also a normal time to have meetings (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays). I also will touch base with Megan a little before 11 and give her the rundown of who is/is not available, and if there are any requests we will need to address.

My beautiful girls!

11:00 a.m. – 12:00p.m. – Depends on the day, but this is either super busy or very calm — I never really know!

12:00 p.m. – At noon, every day, I attend the D-1 meeting. After that, I usually touch base with Megan again to check the lunch status, and start looking at the 6hr/OT rooms and who I may have to relieve in the next couple of hours.  

2:00 p.m. – Get online in the control room, and from there, who knows what will happen. It always includes lots of phone calls, text messages, and case stalking. Also get my kids from school at this time.

Enjoying the sunshine with my youngest daughter.

5:00 p.m. – Usually log off for the day — but it depends on how the board looks at the time.

Relaxation time with the doggo!

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Dinner, homework, taxi-Jen to/from various practices (2 nights a week), baths, random events, yard work in the summertime, etc.

Two nights a week, I am the taxi to and from practices. Then there’s dinner, homework, baths and any other random events that pop up.  

8:30 p.m. – Time to put the kids to bed! After that I try to relax and hang out with my dog.

Tips and resources for getting better sleep

There’s no such thing as being a “bad sleeper,” but many of us are regularly getting a bad night’s sleep (1 in 3, according to the CDC). Sleeping poorly isn’t just an issue of feeling groggy or cranky around our loved ones or colleagues — how well we rest can play into our long-term health, our physical safety, and our overall happiness.

Wherever you are in your journey toward getting good rest — whether that’s figuring out how to go to bed earlier or wondering what keeps waking you up in the middle of the night — you have resources for better sleep with Calm, our partner for mental well-being.

Calm has a library of sleep resources for you to cozy up and fall asleep faster for a better night’s sleep:

Prioritizing sleep during times of stress or change can feel difficult, but with a little practice and support, you can get the deeper sleep you deserve.

Happy Women’s History Month!

The 2022 Women’s History theme is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope” — and it is both a tribute to the ceaseless work of caregivers and frontline workers during this ongoing pandemic and also a recognition of the thousands of ways that women of all cultures have provided both healing and hope throughout history.