Happy Sunday everyone! I hope everyone has had a peaceful weekend and is ready for another week.
I wanted to touch today on a topic that is super important to me…self care and mental health.
In healthcare we strive to be the best of the best. We study harder, longer, and stretch our mental capacity to the limits. We cut back on our sleep and fun time in order to spend more time studying or working. Instead of home cooked healthy meals, we snack or don’t eat at all. Our exercise and fitness are thrown out the window because “we DON’T HAVE TIME FOR THAT!” …or do we?
One thing I learned early in on my PA schooling is that I did better if I made time for myself. PA school took up 99.9% of my day, but a very small percentage needed to be dedicated to ME time.
At first, I felt absolutely overwhelmed by school and had such guilt by spending any time away from my studies. I found myself flustered and frustrated and mentally exhausted realll quick. One day I took a walk, and found myself coming back refreshed and ready to study some more. I found that taking a break wasn’t “slacking”, but actually a smart way to approach studying. By breaking my studying into sections and giving myself a mental break, I found I could attack studying with fresh eyes and a sharp mind.
Once I realized I needed little “me” breaks, I found creative ways to add these into my day. One thing I did was hit up the gym on my lunch break. It was nice that our weight room was a block away and I could easily get in a 3-4 mile run over my break. Even though I have a love/hate affair with working out (because no one REALLY like running)…it was nice to get some exercise in after long hours sitting in the classroom.
Now that I am a PA, I find myself still with an insanely busy schedule. I work quite a bit currently to help not only pay off some of my student loans, but also to help pay off my husband’s medical school and the lovely loans that accompany it. Not only do I work upwards of 180 hours in the ER, I also in my free time help pre-PA students achieve their dreams of getting into PA school by doing Pre-PA Assessments, Mock Interviews, and reviewing personal statements! Occasionally, I even get to spend time with my husband!
Life can become a bit stressful and overwhelming if I don’t balance life out. One thing I do every single day is take my dog for a walk. It is such a simple thing to do, but it really is my “me” time that I need each day to balance life. Plus, nothing makes me happier than seeing my little dog Lola light up when I ask “who wants to go for a walk?”
I’ve also learned that it is “ok” to invest in me. In school, I was really stingy about spending money (mostly because I didn’t have any) but now I’ve found certain things I am happy to spend money on for myself. I’ve got addicted to eyelash extensions. It is something I get done every 2 weeks and I absolutely love it. I really am not one for getting my hair or nails done, but I love getting my lashes done. It not only is a relaxing hour of getting them placed, but I thoroughly enjoy not having to worry about smudgy eye makeup or spending long hours getting ready. For me, it is simply get up and go in the morning without worrying about make up.
The other thing I’ve done that I can get a little pricy, but I have found totally worth every penny and consider an investment in myself, are facials. I LOVE getting these done every month and a half. It is seriously the most relaxing, plus it feels awesome to detoxify my face! I’ve learned to drop the guilt and just indulge #treatyoself
Within the craziness that is life, I found ways to keep my sanity and still cut out time for me and my own needs. Even though I absolutely adore my work (both in the ER and helping pre-PA students), there still needs to be time solely spent on myself…and I’ve come to learn that this is OK! Everyone is different in what they do to relax and indulge in themselves. The most important thing is that we do understand that self care is a really important and healthy part of being in healthcare.
It is like that all those smart people say…you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first!
I’m thankful to be apart of such a special and supportive social media community that inspires me to be my best me. I encourage you post below what your favorite way to stay #HealthyinMedicine and also encourage you to visit some other lovely pages that have also posted ways they stay healthy!
pics compliments of giphy.com