Do you feel overwhelmed as a medical student? This experience is common among the country’s future physicians experiencing stress, loneliness, and emotional exhaustion.
Maintaining a good work-life balance may be assiduous for doctors in training. For example, hobbies may help relieve stress and achieve better equilibrium in life. Thus, pursuing these activities can contribute to maintaining sanity despite a stressful job.
Another way to achieve better work-life equilibrium is by practicing self-care in medical school. Doctors can more adequately care for patients by attending to their own health and wellness needs.
These tips may help you find homeostasis in your daily life in medical school:
Personal relationships can make it easier for New Zealand medical students to alleviate stress and provide support as they commence their medical careers.
When planning your weekly schedule, add at least one social activity that involves family or friends. Just as importantly, adhere to the scheduled item on your weekly to-do list to help achieve study-life balance.
Exercising regularly, eating nutritious food, and getting sufficient sleep may enhance your body’s immunity and improve productivity, memory, and focus.
Meanwhile, eating unhealthy food or maintaining a sedentary lifestyle may have detrimental effects on your physical and mental health.
Maintaining a work-life balance can become much more challenging if you are struggling with health and wellness issues.
One possible roadblock to maintaining a work-life balance is that people with whom you socialize are unfamiliar with your weekly schedule.
Suppose you intend to plan a vacation with your friends in the future. Inform them in advance about when you will be available. This step will make it easier to plan events. You might also check this page that can help you search for places you can go to for a relaxing vacation.
A mentor such as a licensed doctor can share their past coping mechanisms during medical school. They may also share potential strategies that they could have used to achieve better work-life balance.
Inefficient studying may be one of the causes of having a work-life imbalance. Consider your strengths and weaknesses to determine how you can make study sessions more efficient and free up more time for your personal life.
It will be more challenging to schedule time to relax during mid-term or finals week. Be certain to schedule post-exam recovery time to reestablish your work-life balance.
Creating a reward system can help motivate yourself to take breaks after completing tasks, such as writing a research paper or studying for an exam.
Pick rewards that will motivate you, like pursuing an exciting hobby or passion. Such a step may help you maintain optimum motivation to complete a task and take a rejuvenating break.
You can walk your dog to the grocery store, providing exercise for you and your pet canine.
You can also combine social activities with hobbies or exercise, such as workouts, cooking, camping, dancing, or sports.
You may want to schedule such events in advance to avoid logistical issues immediately before holidays, for example. Besides blocking out holidays for relaxation, you should also make time for events such as:
- Medical or dental check-ups
- Family events
Ensure that you account for travel time since this factor could add significant time to an event.
An imbalance will likely make you more unproductive and ineffective in life. Suppose you avoid spending your minimum free time resting and recovering. This action may have a detrimental effect on your health and well-being.
Having an imbalance in work life and personal life may cause effects such as:
Stress: Research has provided overwhelming evidence that overworked employees experience stress, which can lead to various health problems, including:
- Heavy drinking
- Impaired sleep
- Impaired memory
- Heart disease
Burnout: A study published in the Safety and Health at Work journal reported a relationship between healthcare workers’ exhaustion and burnout and between burnout and cynicism.
Depression: Research suggests that overworking may induce more instances of depression. A study published in PloS One journal reported that working 11-hour workdays instead of 8-hour days can double the risk of depression.
Medical students experience particular scenarios that may make it challenging to balance their professional and personal lives.
For example, you may struggle with a new learning environment, lack of extracurricular activities, curricular stress, and sleep deprivation.
In addition, doctors may overcommit themselves to achieve the perception of being a dedicated doctor in the medical profession.
A student’s personality may also cause them to overcommit, leading to less leisure time.
As a medical student, you may find it challenging to establish a work-life balance. However, it is achievable with realistic goals and practical methods. This time is a critical state of life for you.
However, remember that establishing a solid equilibrium in your professional and personal life as a medical student will later make the process easier as a medical practitioner.