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Finding Balance in a Busy Conference Season


Kristina Collins, MD, delves into the importance of being present in the moments you have control over and making self-care a priority on the road.

October is a buzzing conference season with back-to-back meetings full of insight into innovative dermatologic treatments, solutions to challenging cases, and the ability to practice new techniques and see new equipment on the exhibit hall floor. An information overload and not being in a regular routine can be a challenge on the road.

Kristina Collins, MD, double board-certified dermatologist and Mohs surgeon, and founder of Austin Skin Physicians in Austin, Texas, understands first-hand how important it is to take control of the chaos when balancing a practice, traveling to meetings, and being present for her family and children. She spoke with Dermatology Times about how finding balance and moments of gratitude in life's busiest moments inspired her skin care line.

"I think that on the outside wellness, looks kind of complicated because people do it in so many different ways. You know, you have the 5am-ers that get up, exercise, meditate, and go to work. You've got the late night, people who have their whole different type of wellness. You've got the super strict diet people. You've got all of these like things that sort of fall under the category of wellness." Collins said. "I think on the outside, it can be really hard to define what is actually essential or pivotal for our wellbeing. But to me, I think that the core of wellness is actually incredibly simple. And the simple core of wellness is the ability to be present."

The idea of connecting wellbeing to presence is one of the biggest components of Collins' skin care link. Skin care routines can be a brief 5 to 3 minute time slot, and to Collins, they are special times because those minutes are at the bookends of the day: right after a person wakes up and right before they go to bed. Even as a mom of 2 young children, Collins can make meditation during a skin care routine a priority.

"What's so critical about those time periods is that research shows how important and how transformative it can be to incorporate some sort of positive intention, setting presence, meditation during those periods of time," she explained. "It does show that if you do that, right when you wake up in the morning, it changes your whole day. If you do that every day, it changes your whole life. But even in your body on a cellular level, our telomeres lengthen in response to positive intention setting these 2 periods of time. So I feel like linking with your skincare routine is a really cool way that you can actually do a meditation practice."

Overall, Collins encourages those in a busy meeting season to respond to their body's needs and keeping creative, practical solutions in mind when calling a different city home for a few days, like walking around to get the blood pumping or squeezing in water, vegetables, and fruits when the opportunity presents itself.

"I think sometimes when we have these lofty goals, that's when we go down because we can't do it, and then weeks later, you're just like, 'Wow, I really wanted to take 10 Barre fitness classes or Pilates classes, and I really wanted to eat vegan the whole time and on and on and on,' and if you fall short, it's disappointing. Go slow and incorporate wellness into your every day routine," Collins concluded.

How do you find balance and wellness when traveling for dermatology meetings? Email DTEditor@mmhgroup.com. We would love to hear from you!

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