Something New

{Upland, California}

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!

15 thoughts on “Something New

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more! My first year as a medical school student was horrible, I was super hard on myself to do well and it cost me dearly! This past semester went so much better when I didn’t limit myself to downtime and treating myself every now and then, wonderful post! You are so inspiring!

  2. Way to go! Up and up! I learn climbing in the Army (way less fun when you have a drill sergeant shouting at you from down below) I did learn one very useful thing, though: don’t climb with your hands and arms, you’ll tire easily, climb with your legs pushing up. The hands are only there to steady your position. I later used it in mountain climbing. 🙂
    Congrats. And glad to see you looking happy. Have a lovely week-end.

  3. cheese bread and wine, making a wheel of parmesan or gruyere cheese, artisan bread and tending the vines in my vineyard. also working on making a wood fired pizza oven (next to the vinyard) always something new, it renews the spirit

    • Hi Bob, that sounds wonderful (also sounds like my ideal setup for a home having your own vineyard)! Cheesemaker, vintner, navy man…is there anything you haven’t done??!! 😉

  4. I see you’ve been listening to our friend, the wise giraffe. And here’s something for you from a wise human. “Psychoanalysis could not contribute to such comparative work if it were not grounded in a deep belief in the power of Eros to imbue intimacy and communality, work, worship, and awareness with a measure of true play. In this sense, let me come back to Plato’s suggestion that the leap is the model of playfulness, and let me wish us all great leaps–and firm landings.” Erik Erikson, Toys and Reasons

  5. I love to climb. This is such a great way to stay focused at task at hand. As one gets older (58 here),, one has to really stretch it out. I have been trying to integrate both strength and cardio at the gym. My goal has been to knock out Rainer later this summer.

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