Has anyone ever felt like they were trying to balance plates on a stick on the palm of your hands, and on top of your feet while trying to walk? I've never actually attempted that before but that's how I feel sometimes when life along with school gets extremely hectic. So how in the world do I find balance with the ever-growing demands of school, and life in general?
- Staying Grounded - Whether it's by reading my bible, or praying, or getting together with a group of girls where we pray with each other and talk about how our weeks are going. These things are such important parts of my life that I basically wouldn't know how to function without it. This is how I stay grounded, and if life is throwing you all the lemons that the world can find, try this or find something that will help you remain grounded. It's so important to not only take care of your physical body to stay healthy, but also address and take care of your spirit.
- Nutrition & Fitness - another very important part of how I stay balanced is by eating healthy and working out. Don't get me wrong, I do indulge (which I will talk about in point #4) - maybe sometimes a little too much ;) But these two things help keep me healthy and also boosts mental health! So if I'm gonna prevent going nuts, I'm going to take care of my body. When I'm at school, I find that prepping meals for at least 3 days at a time is helpful so that I don't end up just eating out all the time. I say 3 days because I get tired of eating the same thing over again. I'm going to be trying out some different ways to prep my meals this coming school year - so stay tuned for how that will be going. Also it's so important to be smart about what you're eating. Being in class and studying all day, I tend to snack a lot! I have to make sure that I'm packing something healthy (or at least somewhat healthy) - otherwise I'd end up getting chips from the vending machine (which happens occasionally haha). Second, I find that I feel much better when I am working out on a regular basis. During medical school, it's so easy to put off working out and to just keep studying - BUT the endorphins from working out truly does help especially with stress. Don't over-do it though. This summer, I am able to work out for 2 hours at a time and do so much more, but I know once I get back to school that's just not possible. First of all, I simply don't have the luxury of spending 2 hours working out. Second of all, I find that after studying/sitting in class for a long time I'm mentally drained, which also in turn makes me physically drained. So I have to know my limit and not overwork myself to a point where I won't be able to go back to studying after my workouts (sometimes I work out for so long that I don't want to do anything else after).
- Taking Breaks - this is something I want to work on more this coming school year. I didn't take breaks the "right" way. I would take breaks in the same spot where I study but that's not a true break. It's better to study and take breaks in different spaces if possible. Also, I'd like to try to take more trips outside of the town where school is. As much as I love where I go to school, I also miss bigger cities so I hope to be able to manage time better and squeeze in some trips out of town and go exploring!
- Rewarding Myself - After exams, my friends and I would usually do a movie night, or go out to dinner! Giving yourself something to be excited about after something stressful like exams may help you push through the grueling studying - this is something that seems to help me! Also, as I mentioned earlier, I like to stick to a healthier diet but I do reward myself with food - whether it's dessert or a hearty meal.
The challenges of medical school and life gets overwhelming, but it's important to first take care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually. That way, we can give our 110% to whatever we are doing! There's nothing worse than trying to pour out from an empty cup.