The title of this post is “work life balance,” but it isn’t going to be an authoritative “How-To” reference guide because, well, I don’t consider myself an authority on the subject! Of course, balance is something I strive towards, but I don’t think there’s any such thing as the “perfect” semblance of balance. Where I currently am in life, (medical school) finding balance can be really challenging, but I’m continually learning what does and doesn’t work. The thing with life though, is that once we seem to have a handle on things, changes come and we have to figure it out all over again!
The past few months in particular, I’ve struggled to juggle my many responsibilities. This has been one of the most trying semesters so far in school, and I’ve had moments of tears, frustration, and honest questioning of why on earth I ever decided to become a healthcare provider. I only have a few weeks left until finals (praise God) and there is a huge light at the end of the tunnel, as I’ll be getting married and then running away with my love to a place much warmer than the Midwest. In the mean time, I’m doing my best to take care of myself.
Here’s what self-care has been looking like for me over the past few weeks:
- Staying home when I was sick. I was sick for almost an entire month. I came down with some sort of exhaustion/fatigue syndrome (not a real diagnosis) followed by a really severe cold, then a sinus infection, then another cold and another sinus infection. It was R.O.U.G.H. The unfortunate thing is that some of my classes incorporate attendance and participation as part of the grade. While I definitely am eager to master the curriculum in my courses, I had to swallow my pride and surrender some of my points for attendance and class participation so I could stay home, recover, and get to a point where I could actually study again.
- Watching re-runs of 19 Kids and Counting instead of studying/cleaning/sleeping/cooking/all other chores. Sometimes, you’ve just gotta.
- Not watching re-runs, and actually working productively. Yesterday alone, I submitted a twenty-four page paper, completed a drug-interaction analysis for my pharmacology class, cranked out another assignment, and studied for tomorrow’s quiz – in addition to being in class from 9 am to 5 pm. To be honest, I could not have gotten all that done had I not taken time in the days prior to rest.
- Eating chocolate chip cookies. This one is self-explanatory.
- Waiting a few minutes to eat aforementioned chocolate chip cookies after burning self. Also self-explanatory.
And…trying to get enough sleep. It’s hard, when there are so many other things to be done, but life is less enjoyable when I’m overly tired.
What are some of the ways you’ve been taking care of yourself over the past few weeks?