Feature Series Part 2 – Life of a Med School Student

Feature Series Part 2: I have some great contributions from health & wellness folks as part of this feature series for Well and the City; where they could share their own personal experiences in the health and wellness world. Below is Feature Part 2: from my good friend and former college roommate Brittany. She is also a fellow blogger and her site can be found here.  Thanks for your words of wisdom Brittany!!!

“Be where you are, otherwise you will miss your life.”  ~ Buddha.

This quote sums up the way I want to live my life. There is so much to experience in life, but if you are always worried about the future or the past, or are not being mindful of being present in the here and now, then you are going to miss out on life. With today’s fast paced lifestyle this quote is truly becoming a challenge to enact. Work and stress can detract from the quality of life and create barriers to being present and experiencing life.

I am currently a medical student and now more than ever I am working on the mindfulness of being present. There is so much to worry about and never enough time to work, study, exercise, and sleep. For me the biggest challenge to mindfulness is having a healthy work-life balance. I have thought about the most important way I practice this balance in my life and listed them below.  I hope this list helps. It is always easier said than done. However, with anything in life, the more something is done, the easier it becomes and before you know it, healthy habits are born!

1. Leave work, at work. Allow yourself to release the stress from work when you get home. Ideally, I enjoy coming home, walking the dog and using that time to reflect on my day. Then when I get home from our walk, I am ready for the evening. I know others like to use the symbolic shower to wash away the stress from the day.

2. Exercise. I know it can be hard to squeeze in and can feel like a big commitment, but it doesn’t have to be. A 20 minute walk around the block is a great way to clear your mind of stress or help think of solutions to any problems you may be facing at work or in your personal life.  Exercise is a great way to release endorphins (which produce happy feelings) and reduce cortisol (stress hormone). My favorite is going for a hike with my four legged companion! 

3. Smile and be positive! One’s attitude can immensely impact the quality of life. Being happy can help you be healthier! And, seeing the positives can help you feel more balanced, even if it’s a stressful week

4. Eat nutritious foods. I am not much of a cook, but I sure do love food! I am a believer in variety and moderation. To me, the most important things are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and being cognizant of portion sizes. I love Well And The City’s recipes and snack ideas! I know, I know, what does this have to do with work life balance….well, food has a huge impact on your body and hormone levels. Eating right will give the body the nutrients we need to stay healthy and help us feel at our best!

5. Sleep! There is always more to be done in a day, believe me, I can’t tell you how many times I have fallen asleep while trying to squeeze more in. But sleep is important for memory, for your brain to process the events of the day, and for a healthy immune system. Personally, I love to get a solid 8 hours!

6. Plan something to look forward to. It can be a weekend dinner with your friends, a massage, or a new hiking trail 😉 If you are feeling especially burnt out, taking a long weekend to get away can really do wonders for the psyche. And above all, let yourself truly relax during your fun time; carrying your stress with your will only lead to unwarranted feelings of guilt and frustration.

7. Have a hobby. It can be painting/drawing, reading, knitting, or whatever!

– B.A.


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