Since starting internal medicine I’ve been working 6 days a week. It’s thrown me off of all my self care routines especially when I have to work on Sundays. I lose track of all the days and the only thing I have to look forward to is the next off day. I still manage to get average 5-6 hours a night, but for someone who really needs 7, I’ve become chronically sleep deprived. It has become very easy to let myself go and keep putting things off day after day. Even when I’m motivated to do something for myself like go workout or relax and catch up on a show, I instead just try and get through my studying so I can go to sleep. It’s a viscous cycle until my off day when I do all of my errands and cook for the week and wash my hair and clothes and end up equally tired just to get ready for the next 6 days.
So this weekend, I got both Saturday and Sunday off. I just finished 4 weeks at the VA hospital and will be doing the next 4 weeks at our main school hospital. In between the two, they give us the whole weekend off. I have never valued a weekend so much. This weekend was full of self care and it couldn’t have been better. I got a pedicure at this super fancy nail salon. I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time in months. And I got sugar waxed in my tanner staging areas haha. I feel like a whole new woman! I also had girl time with a few of my medical school girlfriends. And I had a couple of my college best friends come and visit me and we got lunch together. So, I got both much needed girl time and me time. I feel so rejuvenated.
I just think it’s crazy that as soon as I start getting busy, my self care is the first to go out the window. Like I’m so quick to tell myself no because I have to study. But I’ll still do things for other people though! Why is that? I’m still trying to answer the question. I go through this in cycles where I’ll have a weekend like this and swear to myself to never go as long as I have without self care, and then I get overwhelmed with stuff again and lose it. It’s a constant balance and it truly takes EFFORT and INTENTION. But man when you get it right, it feels so good.
So here goes another shot at consistency with self care. I’ve got 4 more weeks of internal medicine and I want to look good and feel good all the way through it. I am making a commitment to myself to maintain my place at the top of my priorities list. If you struggle with balancing school/work with your self care, you need to do the same. We can’t be suffocating all the time; there has to be times to push school away and do something good for ourselves. And self care doesn’t have to be financial! You can do your own nails, light candles and stream a movie, curl your hair, read for leisure, listen to a new music album, call a friend that makes you laugh, etc. Convince yourself that it’s not time wasted. In fact, it’s time very well spent because when you take care of yourself, you’re able to take care of your patients 10x better.
Look good, feel good, do good.
PS: Spring Break is next week! I’m going to the SNMA Annual Medical Education Conference in San Francisco then going to Las Vegas with some of my favorite girls! So excited for this week of laughs, new memories, and REAL relaxation!
Hope everyone has a wonderful week!