• Project Empower Circle

Sustaining Oneself to go the Distance (By Catherine Nassralla)

"How can I operate thoughtfully and with more respect for myself, in a way that serves me perpetually? How can I give of myself to others with regards to time, energy and actions in a way that allows me to continue to do so for as long as I can?" - Catherine Nassralla


The word Sustain to me means being able to persevere and keep moving forward.


For many of us during this time, we’ve learned how to sustain ourselves through separation from friends and loved ones, and from a life of familiarity. For others who might be seeking job opportunities right now and coming short, you may have sustained your will to send out resumes, interview and receive or give rejections, or to receive no answer at all. To sustain to me means preservation of your internal energy and your drive to move forward. How can I operate thoughtfully and with more respect for myself, in a way that serves me perpetually? How can I give of myself to others with regards to time, energy and actions in a way that allows me to continue to do so for as long as I can?


To sustain is to be proactive in answering these questions, or to re-evaluate if you find yourself burnt out and running aground. I have found this to be challenging in practice, as it can become demoralizing to face long-term difficulties and sudden, intense and unexpected stressors. But to hold on to hope, even in a way that seems a little naive, while working to face our difficulties in a systematic way can help sustain our efforts and emotional, physical and mental capacity. If this means doing your best to connect with others by any means necessary when you miss them; or re-evaluating how you spend your time while job searching; or remaining physically active in a way that is gentler and more manageable; or not taking small breaks from responding to messages or time on social media, seek to do what you can to keep yourself going.


"I hold out hope for myself and for others that we will be able to know ourselves enough to be able to sustain our energy, light and peace."

Seek help when you need help regaining your momentum and be at peace with continuing to move forward, even if it is at a snail’s pace. I take comfort in reflecting on what my family, friends, colleagues and really ancestors as well have had to endure to sustain themselves and keep pushing forward. I know that I’m likely not alone in my difficulty at this time or throughout all time, and I know that someone was victorious in sustaining themselves and being better for it. I hold out hope for myself and for others that we will be able to know ourselves enough to be able to sustain our energy, light and peace.

About the Author: This piece was written by Catherine Nassralla. Catherine is a pharmacist and digital health professional who is driven to enriching the healthcare landscape. With roots in the community and hospital pharmacy space, she has navigated a change in direction to impact system level change. She encourages young professionals to be thoughtful and comfortable in their own, unique career paths. Check out more of her writing on Medium!

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