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Self care is anything that you do regularly to keep yourself on the right track.  For me, it was creating a list of healthy meals that I choose from every day, exercising,  listening to podcasts,  going to the spa, shopping, writing :).

 

I also enjoy spending time with my friends doing the above mentioned activities or watching movies .. etc.

 

I also practice contemplation and reflection to develop my spirituality. 

 

What do you do? What are your thoughts on self care?

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Working with kids removes my sadness like magic

I like to reflect on good deeds and less good things I've done everyday, even if it's just for 15min during a walk outdoors.

Also, every few months I get a strong urge to pick up a pencil and draw anything on my mind, and I do it. It makes me extremely calm and in a reverie-like sentiment.

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Hang out with my kids, cuddle my pets, watch movies with my husband. I have a bunch of hobbies too which I use to relax.

 

My six month old is pretty much the happiest infant I have ever met, so if I'm grumpy I can just go get a hug and a slobbery kiss from her and the day improves. Having a chat with my son or reading with my older daughter is pretty fun. We can chill and play video games or go to the park or I can walk the dog. Lots of stuff to just get back to myself and remember why I'm doing this.

 

My biggest part of self-care is just maintaining my life outside medicine and taking time for those most important relationships, even if it means I spend a bit less time studying.

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Self care is anything that you do regularly to keep yourself on the right track.  For me, it was creating a list of healthy meals that I choose from every day, exercising,  listening to podcasts,  going to the spa, shopping, writing :).

 

I also enjoy spending time with my friends doing the above mentioned activities or watching movies .. etc.

 

I also practice contemplation and reflection to develop my spirituality. 

 

What do you do? What are your thoughts on self care?

Are we talking about having self-care as a Med student or as pre-med? I think that developing self-care as early as possible is very important in anyone's career path. I'm only an Undergrad and I have yet to develop my own personal self-care but I do like everyone's suggestions so far. 

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I find two things to be necessary: (1) to do the little things to make sure I don't get run down by striving, and (2) to do the subtler, harder thing, which involves checking in on who I am and where I am going (important if all the striving isn't going to be for nothing). You already know what to do for the first, but perhaps suggestions for the second may be helpful. 

 

"...to reflect on good deeds and less good things I've done everyday," as .Marble. said, is a good start. Sometimes we need help from outside though, since it's so easy to get caught up in the bubble of our own perspective: an echo chamber. Meditations, by Marcus Aurelius, is a good start. It's easy to read in small sections too.

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Adequate sleep with good sleep hygiene, keeping active on the majority of the days of the week (cycling, skiing, swimming, running, squash, gym training, yoga), maintaining healthy social contacts, eating well (pizza is currently a nemesis), making sure to regularly break the routine and explore, setting realistic goals instead of long lists that are likely unattainable and induce unnecessary stress, keeping perspective.

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Regular exercise and/or physical activity has become a staple of my self-care routine. Maintaining a gym schedule of at least 3 days per week has been paramount in maintaining both my physical and mental health in medical school thus far. In addition, I've found that taking time to make meals rather than simply relying on purchasing food from restaurants has also been helpful; not only do I know what is going into my food, which makes me "feel" better, it's also a distraction from the stresses of studying.

 

When it comes to studying, I've found shorter bursts of studying spaced throughout the day, rather than one giant chunk of studying has benefited my learning. I highly recommend the pomodoro method of studying. Having a significant other who is also in medical school who I am able to study with and keep me accountable and on task has also helped me tremendously. Lastly, prioritizing my own sleep needs over school has made a strong difference; since lectures are not mandatory, if I feel like I need to take the morning to get a few extra hours of sleep or simply "be lazy", then I do it. I don't feel guilty because I know it's what I need in the moment. These tips and tricks have served me well thus far, which, without going into too much detail or "bragging" too much, has translated into better learning, and strong performance on assessments.

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