As some of you may have noticed, since August of last year my blog posts rapidly declined. I was just starting my fellowship and things were honestly pretty rough. (See my post from August 2016). I had moved across the country and was pretty homesick and just had so much on my plate. There was new surgery after new surgery that I had to learn and conference after conference that I had to attend. Then there was getting used to several hospitals/medical systems electronic medical records. On top of this, I wanted to maintain a healthy and balanced life. AND I had to prepare for my boards. Holy Moly, I was overwhelmed.
I’m sure as this year is wrapping up and you are looking forward to what the future may hold, you might be getting a little anxious. As I have said in many a previous post, if I can do it, so can you. I suffer with anxiety at times when I look ahead, but I have found ways to cope with this enormous stress and I wanted to share what I have found to be helpful if you find yourself stressed out and in that valley.
- Take a deep breath. Honestly it sounds cheesy but it works. Sometimes I need to remind myself that this valley that I am in won’t last forever. This journey to the hill is making me stronger. I take a deep breath and count to ten. As I count to ten I remind myself that even as I am counting down, I am getting further and further through my valley.
- Tell yourself the truth. If you are type A personality like me, you are your worst critic. My momma taught me that when I start to attack myself, I need to come right back at myself with truth. I have a mantra that goes, “You are strong, you are capable,…” and then I repeat multiple faith based sayings because that is where I personally draw my strength from. I encourage you to do that. I have shared this tip with my professional friends and they have only rave reviews.
- Gird your loins. Yes I just typed LOINS. Seriously sometimes, you have to realize that for as many situations others have put you in, you have put yourself in just as many. The journey of the professional is not for the faint of heart. You chose this, buck up and ‘git er dun’.
- Reality check. Sometimes things are just not what you want to do. At that time, make the right decision for yourself. Your future you only has you to blame. Do what makes you hum inside. You don’t have to hum everyday, but make sure that you are humming.
- An empty cup cannot fill others. As a busy busy bee, I rarely have time to check in with myself. I realized that in medical school, to residency, to fellowship that I absolutely need to check in. I am emotionally, physically, and mentally drained many days. I find that when I’m not quite right, my patient care will suffer. My motivation goes down. I get the job done, but really don’t enjoy it. This is when I take a step back and assess myself. Have I been getting enough sleep? Am I eating right? Have I been going out socially when I can? Have I been working out? Have I been praying? If any of my answers are no then I make a concerted effort to bring that balance back to my life.
Life is full of hills and valleys! I hope that these thoughts help you through the valley and to the hill! Please let me know what you do to relax and any tips that you have!