If you're a fellow second year medical student, you know that it is officially Board-Study Season. And I don't know about you, but I definitely feel the stress already. A few medical students who are a year or two ahead of me gave some of the same tips, and it is this: DON'T GET BURNED OUT. Does this phrase give any one else chills? It's a topic that is commonly thrown around within the medical community - whether students, residents or so on. Now that we're officially in this season of life where it seems like the "end of this tunnel" will never come, I truly believe that this is one of the times in my life in which I really need to be more aware of my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health - so as to prevent this thing called "burn out".
As if I, and other medical students don't already get "burned out" from constantly studying during the year, we now have one more thing on our plate - a big thing - that we are up against. So what can I do now to hopefully keep this burning out thing at bay?
1. Community - surrounding myself with friends who are on the same mission, as well as those who can encourage me and keep me grounded is crucial. I've been blessed with friendships here at medical school and back home where I can go to those friends for encouragement, advice, fun - anything really. Another thing that ties in with this is "intentionality" (is that even a word?) because these friendships and relationships are not cultivated without putting in time and effort.
2. Fitness & Eating Clean - I've talked about this before in a previous post, but I love working out. My body can tell when I haven't been moving and eating well, and it tells me to get movin' and get back on track. I guess I've become more aware or in-tune with my body, which is something important especially with the very busy life I lead. It's important to know when it's time to slow down, take care of yourself, so that you can better focus on your goals. Exercise & meal prep! Exercising not only keeps you physically fit, but also mentally fit! But HEY - don't forget to treat yo'self though. Take rests days and if you're needing that chocolate, ice cream, chips (whatever your weakness is) - GO FOR IT - just remember, everything in moderation!
3. Faith - whether times are good or tough, my faith is something near and dear to me. I know that no matter what happens, I can fall back on it and know that everything will be ok. Life is not perfect and things don't always happen as I think they would. But I know that if I continue to believe and have faith that things will work out for the best, they usually do!
4. Take Breaks - so simple, but easily forgotten. I try to talk to my parents every day even if it's just a little bit. And if you didn't already know - I'm engaged (EEP!) - So it's important to still be able to spend time and talk with the fiance! On top of all of this we are wedding planning. Am I crazy? (Maybe later on I'll write about my experience of planning a wedding while in medical school?) I don't know, but all of these things I've mentioned are more important now that ever! So I take breaks, watch my shows and get a good laugh. Hang out with my friends, and blog too ;)
I'm hoping that these things will carry me through the next few months, and even through the rest of my career in medicine.
What are your favorite ways to prevent burn out? Have you experienced it yourself? What did you do to recover? I'm all ears to any advice!