Thursday, February 19, 2015
As a psychiatrist, all day I'm recommending and "prescribing" self care to my patients. Funny thing, because as a resident, self care is pretty low on my list. These past couple of weeks have been especially hard for me. I have been working many 12 hour shifts, 5-6 days a week. To be honest, although I love my specialty, I do not like being a resident. I like learning. But I hate long shifts in the hospital, sometimes logging 60-70 hours a week. I didn't really understand my life would be like this when I entered medical school. I'm not sure I still would have went to medical school if I knew life would be like this. Nonetheless, I don't regret my decision (err, I usually don't regret my decision) because ultimately my goal is to work part time and as a doctor I can work part time and often make more then people working full time. However the road to get there is long and painful. It's marked by many tears and overall crabbiness. Second year is the hardest year of Duke residency and ER and consultation-liaison psychiatry are the hardest rotations. So now I'm right in the thick of things and it's a struggle. Come to July and things should turn around - my call schedule drops to one weekend a month and I get 20% raise. However even with July so close sometimes I feel like it's not worth it!!! When all you want is 2 days off a week instead of 1-last weekend I didn't even get that-life can become quite testing.
I refuse to let this post become one long rant. So on the upside, to make life a little more bearable until I get to July, I have resolved to invest in more brief moments of self care. Here are some small things I am resolving to do to help get me through.
-read my Bible. I have the YouVersion Bible app on my phone. It comes with plenty of easy reading plans, currently I'm reading The Five Love Languages for Her Bible study plan. Most of the plans are short and take just about 5 minutes to read and another few minutes for processing. I always feel much calmer afterwards.
-shower time. For some reason, it's hard for me to motivate myself to get in the shower. I'd rather just flop into my bed. But once the water is raining down on me, the shower is a totally happy and therapeutic place. I have lots of aromatherapy body washes and lotions that I love to use.
-audiobooks. Listening to audiobooks on the commute to work is a great way to ease stress and not fume over traffic. I'm currently listening to Little Women which is so inspiring and refreshing. I also recommend The Help and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
-drinking water and tea. Hydration is key, 'nuff said.
-returning to meditation I had to stop going to guided meditation because of my work schedule, but now I have to reprioritize and start going again. It helps me a lot with anxiety and focus. I go to Patanjali's Place in Durham since it's close to Duke.
-wardrobe. Looking good is feeling good, but also feeling bad is looking bad. Or something like that. Some days I'm too tired to think of proper outfit but then I find myself at work feeling embarrassed about how plain I look. There's probably some direct correlation between my level of confidence and the size of my hair that day (well it's probably a curve that goes downhill when things start to get frizzy). So despite the stress and sleep deprivation, I still need to take the time in the morning to look good because in the end that's what good for me. You know, change your hair change your life, gotta do me, it is what it is and insert any other ridiculous phrases. :)
Self care is taking off with a bang tomorrow because Aaron and I are going on vacation! We're going with a group to Snowshoe and I'm so excited. It will be my first time snowboarding. It is strange to go on such an active vacation but I'm going to take my time and take many breaks so I can rest up too. We're coming back Tuesday and I'll have the rest of the week off to continue the self preservation.
What do you guys do to relax? Share below!!