How can I be an effective health care giver if I myself can’t take care of myself and is sickly?
This is what I always tell myself. That is why I’ve been trying my best to minimize health compromises as I keep my academics a priority.
You know, what makes medical school really hard is the schedule. Quizzes everyday, never-ending exams and lots of assignments. Like, how are you gonna divide all your time studying 12 topics for let’s say 3 subjects overnight? There are times when I really have no choice but to stay late and compromise sleep. But along with that, I have to take in lots of synthetic vitamins and occasional binge-eating of sweets and chips.
Keeping your body at its best is a must so you can be able to perform well. So here’s some self-care practices you might wanna give a try.
- PRIORITIZE SLEEP. At least, get five hours a night. If possible complete it to seven or eight. When I lack sleep at night, I usually get VERY SLEEPY during lectures and worse during exams. Plus, it is a fact that our neurons are non-self-generating meaning when we are still awake at times when we should have been sleeping, we lose lots of them. And there is no way we can have them back.
- AVOID JUNK FOODS. I am not a fan of chips and crackers but I am of sweets! But I have been practicing to exchange sweets for fruits. I need to keep my brain working well and I know too much glucose can damage my brain cells. So instead of buying that New York Cheesecake, I would opt to buy cashew nuts or melon slices instead.
- TAKE A BREAK. Come on! Do not exhaust yourself too much. You are only human and you need to rest. Take time to relax. Watch a movie. Go out with a friend. Get a massage! You’ll see you’ll be able to function better after treating yourself.
- EASY ON THE CAFFEINE. I know, it is very unlikely that I am saying this because I am a coffee addict. Haha. But there was one study that shows most students in the medical field suffer kidney and heart diseases because of their unhealthy choices. In case you do not know, coffee is a diuretic which will cause your kidney to over function excreting most of the water in your body. And because our body is comprised mostly of water, you cannot function really well when you are dehydrated. So don’t believe them when they say “You deserve that second cup of coffee.”
- LOOK GOOD. Being busy doesn’t mean you don’t put on that blush on anymore, or moisturize at night before you sleep. Academics is not your whole life so you still deserve to pamper yourself with some beauty practices.
- MEDITATE. As a Christian, it is my practice to read the Bible and pray before each and every study session. I take time to pause and meditate before I engage into studying medical principles. And here’s my principle: GOD IS THE MAKER OF THIS HUMAN BODY THAT WE ARE STUDYING. SO IT ONLY MAKES SENSE THAT I LEARN FROM THE CREATOR HIMSELF.
Remember that it is not selfish to love and care for yourself. You deserve the same care you give to others!
And oh, you can read the first part of this series here — MedSchool Survival: STUDY HABITS.
A fellow medstudent/blogger suggested another important self-care practice which is EXERCISE. It would help with your blood circulation which means more oxygen delivery to the brain so it could function better. Thank you Doctor in spe!