Medical school is one of the most intensive, fast-paced degree programs you can pursue. While med students are often full of passion and enthusiasm, it’s also easy to succumb to periods of high stress and burnout. If you’re applying for medical programs, you need to know how to take care of yourself in med school and beyond. Here are three tips for creating a supportive, healthy environment for yourself throughout your medical career.
Reach out to Loved Ones
No matter what you do in life, it’s important to have a support system. Classes, labs, and studying can monopolize your time and keep you from friends and family. Make a point of reaching out to your loved ones. Schedule time to hang out with your friends. Call family members who live far away. Maintaining these important relationships is a great way to nurture support and positivity throughout even the most stressful periods of life.
Make a Routine
When life gets busy, a normal routine can help you manage your stress and stay on top of all your obligations. Make schedules, checklists, and other systems for yourself to help organize your day-to-day needs. This might mean blocking out time to go to the gym every day or creating a meal prep plan at the beginning of the week. While it’s important to include work and studying in your routine, you should also make time for relaxation, fun, and plenty of rest. Additionally, try to create—and stick to—a regular morning and nighttime routine. When you go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, you get more restful sleep and are more alert and productive throughout the day.
Medical school is a lot of work, and even with the best self-care practices, you’ll probably find yourself occasionally facing endless days or sleepless nights. Just remember that there’s a reason you wanted to do this in the first place. Keep your goals and enthusiasm in mind. Your passion for this field is what will help you through the program and on your way to a fantastic career.
When you know how to take care of yourself in med school, you can build healthy habits that stick with you for the entirety of your career. It’s important to follow these and other self-care tips throughout your life as a medical professional. When you take good care of yourself, you can take better care of every patient who needs your help.