As a medical student (or any student really), it’s super important to know when you’ve reached your limit. So that’s why this week’s post is on knowing when to STOP.
It’s so easy to burnout when you’re on this course – my days have started rolling into one and I’ve even started to feel guilty for every minute I don’t spend on learning course content. I wake up, go to uni, come home, study, sleep, repeat (what even is a social life?). I’m not even enjoying it half the time; I’m drained and totally unenthused. It’s a vicious cycle, and obviously not beneficial at all. I feel as though I’m not even absorbed any information so all I’m really doing is wasting my own time and worsening my mental state for absolutely no reason!
This week, I decided to try something new. Instead of coming home everyday and basically redoing the entire day’s worth of content until crazy o’clock – I only allowed myself to work for 2 hours max, and then I took the rest of the day off (how scandalous!). This meant I could make time for the things I love doing, like playing basketball, (terribly if I might add), brunching (for the foodie in me), going to the cinema* and even bingeing on Netflix (Harvey Specter – yes please).
Granted, I may have gone a bit overboard with giving myself a social life, but I genuinely felt as though I improved my whole wellbeing this week. I realised that as much as I try to be, I am not superhuman. Even though I didn’t complete 100% of the revision I was aiming for, the content I did cover was absorbed and understood. When asked questions during our teaching sessions, I was actually able to recall information (which sounds like a really stupid thing to be proud of, but trust me, it’s a total rarity for me on this course)!
Medical school isn’t meant to break you – it’s meant to shape you. And the second we start allowing it to consume us is the moment we start to slip. So my message to all you students out there, (both medical and non-medical), is to know your limits – it’s not always healthy to keep pushing yourself when you’re already at your wits end. Cut yourselves some slack, do something you love, have a break, have a KitKat (sorry couldn’t resist).
And that’s exactly why I chose to give up on the Case Report I’d been working on all day today, and instead make a chocolate pavlova. SO worth it.
Until next time,
“Stress is not what happens to us. It’s our response to what happens. And response is something we can choose.” – Maureen Killoran
*P.S. If you haven’t watched Black Panther yet, stop what you’re doing right now and get to it. Like now. #Wakandaforever