My life throughout medical school was pretty monotonous: wake up, attend lecture, eat, go to anatomy lab, study, eat, sleep. I started to exhibit more signs of life once residency started, though limitations to participate in enjoyable activities always existed. I could never rid of feeling guilty each time I did something other than study because there was always an upcoming crucial exam (licensing exams, PRITE, etc) to prepare for. My cognitive distortion was that I’d perform terribly unless I spent every waking hour reviewing for the test, therefore I rarely experienced a day where I felt totally relaxed and present. Fighting the little voice in my head telling me to do something more productive, I’ve been giving myself permission to do more fun activities and am amazed that the self-critical voice is starting to diminish.
So, in continuation of my New Year’s resolution to be aware of my need for self-care, I took a break from paperwork this week and joined my cousin and friend on a trip to their local rock climbing gym. I completed a couple routes belaying for the first time and rediscovered how much I enjoyed the adrenaline rush. It was so much fun!
Therefore, I’d like to encourage all the students and any slightly rigid readers out there (like myself) to try a new activity this coming week. Anything from taking a different walking path to trying a new coffee shop, or avoiding the couch after work/school (seriously, anything to break the monotony is worth something and brings you a little bit out of your comfort zone). If you’re open to sharing or maybe you already participated in something new this week, post in comments below!
Have a wonderful weekend!