I've written posts thus far on how to keep your skin protected, your body nourished, but I haven't yet spoken to probably the most important part of keeping me healthy-- how to keep to your mind healthy.
I have SO much more to write on this topic, but I thought I'd start off on brain sustenance by letting myself REFLECT on the last year of my life. Year one of derm residency!
July marks a NEW YEAR, at least for medical residents. Residency is a crazy time and a time when we are pushed and pulled in so many directions. We make mistakes and learn on the job. It's easy when our lives and jobs are busy to just go with the flow, but its sometimes better (and healthier for the mind), to let yourself slow down, breathe, and reflect.
When you force yourself to slow down, it allows you to process your feelings, learn from your experiences, and GROW.
So here I go... some year-one-done thoughts:
- In the last year, I moved from Boston to Dallas and started Dermatology life. I took on a new city, and I did it while my spouse was moving abroad for a year with the Navy (hubs is in the reserves!). The idea of a new job, new city, new lifestyle (aka no hubby to tell me to clean up my mess), was daunting. BUT I DID IT. Take home point: we are all stronger than we think
- I let myself experience everything to its fullest this year. And I'm so proud of letting myself do that! I let myself be sad and happy and mad. In life, and especially in medicine, its not all smiles. As much as we make it look that way on Instagram, life is not picture- perfect. It's important to let yourself FEEL ALL THE FEELS (one of my mottos).
- I have nothing but gratitude for the patients I've been able to treat. I've had triumphs, but I've struggled with certain medical decisions. I know sometimes I wish I could have a "do over." But in learning from the ups and the downs, I know I've come out a better doctor (yes!).
- I have taken time throughout the year for self-care, whether it be a bath, yoga class, spin session, coffee date, etc. I started to journal and meditate. It's hard to slow down, and at times I felt guilty for this. But ultimately, its one of the BEST DECISIONS I made. Each of these things is a way I show love for myself, and in doing so, have more love to give my family, friends, and patients.
- I have learned to love the answer, "I don't know." In letting go of my ego while training, I open myself up to all of the knowledge I have around me. It's hard to be uncertain, but in residency, you need to learn that its empowering to not know and even more empowering to ask for help and seek out answers (so eventually you do know!).
- Medicine is a team sport. I've tried to be critical on myself in this way, because so much of medical school is a solo act. This year I've learned how I can best support others, and when I need to ask for help. In helping the team grow, every single day is just THAT much better.
I could write a lot more. And these selfies capture ALL THE FEELS, and I'm excited for another year where I can take all the lessons and loves further.
Remember to let yourself reflect. Your future self will thank you for it, I promise.