The COVID pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to frontline healthcare workers. For pulmonologist and critical care physician Dr. Prerna S Sharma, the pandemic was a time of immense pain and despair. But amidst the chaos, she found solace in an unexpected place: painting.

“Painting became a meditative practice for me, a way to focus on something positive and calming,” Dr. Sharma shares. “It allowed me to take my mind off the negative thoughts and emotions that came with treating COVID patients.”

Dr. Sharma’s mother was an artist, and seeing her recover from COVID and return to her canvases inspired Dr. Sharma to try painting for herself. From then on, there was no looking back. Painting became a crucial part of her self-care routine, and she began incorporating gratitude into her painting sessions.

“I realized that combining the meditative practice of painting with the benefits of gratitude made a significant difference,” Dr. Sharma says. “It allowed me to focus on the positive moments in my day, even when things felt overwhelmingly negative.”

Dr. Sharma believes that self-care tools like painting are crucial for promoting mental health and wellness, particularly in healthcare. 

“It’s crucial that we continue to have conversations about mental health and wellness while also highlighting the value of self-care tools that people can use to manage their well-being,” 

In addition to her work as a physician, Dr. Sharma is also an artist with a philanthropic spirit. She plans to use her creative skills and platform to raise funds for various charitable causes, starting with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

“I want to use my artwork and painting sessions to raise awareness and encourage others to give back to their communities,” Dr. Sharma says. “It’s a way for me to honor my friend’s memory, who was also a physician, and make a meaningful impact on those affected by this disease.”

Dr. Sharma’s story is a powerful reminder that we can all find solace and healing in unexpected places. It’s a testament to the resilience, creativity, and hope that can emerge from even the most challenging times.

“Life is a journey full of ups and downs, and it’s important to have a set of reliable tools to help navigate the challenges that come our way,” Dr. Sharma concludes. “With the right tools and mindset, we can weather any storm and come out stronger on the other side.”

Dr. Sharma’s story is a beacon of hope for anyone facing adversity. It’s a reminder that even amid the most challenging times, there is always room for healing and growth. Through her experiences as a frontline healthcare worker during the COVID crisis and an artist, Prerna S Sharma learned valuable lessons about the importance of self-care and the power of gratitude. Her story serves as an inspiration to us all to prioritize our emotional well-being and find joy in unexpected places.

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