I wanted to remind you all of remaining healthy mentally. We all know about physical health. One thing I appreciate about the school I attend is that they gave us a questionnaire to fill out, and it asked us about mental health.
They wanted to know what we did when we were stress. Asked, what we did for fun. Many of us know that medical school can become overwhelming, especially if you fall behind. We were given statistics about the amount of students who become depressed, stressed, anxiety and fall out of relationships (marriages). These can all take a toll on your mind, and when I heard these facts I was determined to remain healthy, both physically and mentally.
Don’t lose yourself
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard 2nd year students tell me this in a matter of 5 weeks. My advise for you is to write everything enjoy before medical school, and when you feel yourself become anxious do one of those things. This is why making friends with your classmates, makes it easier to have someone there to do the things you both enjoy.
Naturally, I am the type that likes to relax, so if you’re like me you can still be yourself. If you enjoy reading books or working out, please continue to do those. You may not want to be closed up in your apartment, simply because you are continuously studying. Of course, you want to plan your time wisely when you do things. For me I told myself at least once a month I will do something fun, like go to the movies, swimming, skate, bowl with friends or hang out with my sister. I know classmates who are married, so they naturally have their spouse and children to be with.
Stay on top of your school work
If you are able to stay on top of your work every day, your stress level will not be as high as someone who is behind. If you would like advice on studying, you can check out my posts here. Plan your study schedule and stick to it. Leave some wiggle room in there in case life happens and causes you to get off track.
You are not alone
Remember that there are other students going through the same thing as you. Some may have it worse, depending on what is going on outside of school. schools provide counseling for those who needs someone to talk to and wants advice on how to proceed. You may feel uncomfortable, due to a sense of stigma, but no one has to know you saw a therapist.
After attending a conference where they had a workshop on resilience I learned a few things. This workshop had us divide into groups and share ways on how they reduce stress and build resilience. Among those suggestions were:
A daily reflection journal
I have actually taken this one up. It has not been daily but it does make life more manageable. In the morning I write at least 3 things I am grateful for and at night, I write about my day. Writing about what you are thankful for can keep you grounded when you are stressing over grades. Remember that you have great health, food, clothes and a roof over head. When you remember that you have a your basic needs met, you go into class with a renewed mind and motivation to learn and succeed in class.
If you do decide to reflect on your head, you are able to let everything out with no worries of judgement. When you are done, you may even want to read your past reflections and find that you have concurred what was bothering you at that time. It make give you motivation to preserve. That day may remind you of the things you do that helped you learne a specific topic. You may even write about how you had a great time one night, and receive a sense of happiness from that. In the morning, you can think of ways to improve the situation you wrote about the night before, then write about what you are thankful for.
Having a group of people who can relate to what you are going through is always encouraging. They can share ways of how they overcame that same situation. Then when someone is going through something else, that you have gone through, you can shared advice on how you overcame it.
If you are crunched for time, just start with 2 minutes. making time for 2 minutes, will make it easier to make time for 5 minutes of meditation or prayer. As time goes on, just increase the time by a few minutes and soon you will get up to 30 minutes if that is what you are aiming for.
This is a light that people stare at while reflecting. People have said this has helped them.
There are more ways to stay healthy, like exercise. Feel free to leave comments on what you do to remain mentally healthy.