“It’s not selfish to refill your own cup, so that you can pour into others. It’s not a luxury. It is essential.” The life of a pre-medical student is endless, between studying, volunteering, involvement and work it’s easy to forget about self-care. As naturally caring individuals we never think twice about filling someone else’s cup, unfortunately we often forget to refill our own cups. Practicing self-care and knowing when to refill one’s own cup is necessary for success. As individuals who care for others, we must first start with the care of ourselves. Here are six easy Self-Care tips for the Pre-Med.
Eat Right. A healthy diet is key! Know your body, I have a fast metabolism so I love to keep fruits and veggies around to snack on. This helps during my longer days during which I go from class to class without breaks. Pack a lunch and some snacks before bed so you can grab and go in the morning. Always carve out time in your day to eat, we all have hectic schedules and it’s easy to forget to eat until your stomach turns against you and begins to growl. Prevent the mean growl from your stomach and schedule time to eat in your schedule.
Sleep. Sleep is your body’s way of resting and rejuvenating its self. A good night’s rest is important. This time allows your mind to shut down and prepare for the next day. Get your body adjusted to a schedule. Try going to sleep around the same time each night, and waking up around the same time in the morning. In addition to setting a bedtime, create a night time routine. I enjoy taking a shower, brushing my teeth, and reading before bed. This gives me a good thirty minutes to wind down and relax before bed.
Laugh. College is stressful! I find myself stuffed in my room studying for exam after exam. When I feel myself getting stressed I schedule in some fun time. Don’t be afraid to schedule fun time into your day. Hang out with friends, watch a funny movie or spend some time with family.
Plan. Plan! Plan! Plan! Throughout your academic and professional career your planner will always be your best friend. At the beginning of the academic semester I compile my syllabi and go through my planner writing down due dates for each class. After I go through my syllabi I write down other commitments like work, clubs, doctors’ appointments etc. This helps me plan my weeks accordingly and prevents me from overbooking myself.
Just Say No! At the end of the day we are humans. Understanding the importance of the word no is key to reaching our goals. Throughout your academic career you will always have people asking you to plan events, go out, attend events etc. It’s okay to say no. If you need time to yourself or to study, just say no! Those who truly care and respect your goals and aspirations will understand.
Journal. When it doubt, write it out. If you have difficulty verbalizing your emotions or just need to reflect grab a pen and pad and starting writing. I love journaling because it allows me to reflect while getting some emotions out.