I had one last beautiful, golden weekend before starting my OB/GYN rotation. I knew that I had to fit in one more memorable activity before my life became overrun with uteruses (uteri?) and babies.
Given my time constraints as a third-year, I thought that maybe I could change things up — instead of going to an activity to help alleviate stress, I could ask someone older and wiser than me for tips on how to de-stress. And who better to ask for advice than my 79-year-old grandmother?
Monopoly, Risk, Parcheesi — I love them all. Board games have been an integral part of my life since I was young, and I attribute my childish competitiveness to the number of times I was beaten in these games in my childhood.
As a budding third year just starting out on my clinical rotations, I’ve recently learned the value of a home-cooked meal — there’s only so much take-out Chinese, microwaveable pizza rolls, and leftovers from last week’s lunch that my tastebuds will tolerate. It was only when one of my friends pointed out that it’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve eaten a vegetable that I realized I needed to make changes in my life: specifically, culinary ones.
It’s that dreaded season again: spring. Whether you’re a fourth-year getting ready to cross the country for residency or a first-year readying for exams, I think it’s pretty safe to assume that spring is a stressful time for most of us.
Despite the fact that it’s fairly warm for this time of year, I was feeling in the spirit to try a winter-themed activity that wouldn’t require travel or cost a significant amount of money. The most obvious activity, given those requirements, was ice-skating.
One thing I’ve always associated the holiday season with (besides lots of yummy food) is singing — anything and everything from Christmas caroling to hymns at church. I’ve never had a very good voice, but one thing I always noticed was that I enjoyed myself every time I sang. However, I always chalked it up to the situation rather than the act of singing itself.
Everyone loves Katniss Everdeen. What’s not to love about the strong, independent, bad-ass woman? Given that exams and Step 1 are looming closer and closer, I’ve been feeling less and less sure of myself and wishing that I could channel my inner Katniss Everdeen and emerge victorious against the Capitol–and by the Capitol, I mean exams). When sharing these thoughts with a friend, it occurred to me that I could step into Katniss’s shoes for a day by taking archery lessons. So, my friend and I gathered a group to see if any of us could hypothetically be the next winner of The Hunger Games.
One of my bucket-list goals before I die is to climb Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro. Where did this come from? I’m not entirely sure. Yet something about climbing the tallest two mountains in the world has always appealed to me; I like challenges, and I can see no greater challenge to my physical and mental fortitude. However, even though I try to work out regularly, I’ve never gone rock climbing in my life. Therefore, keeping this bucket-list goal in mind, I decided to grab some friends and go rock climbing for my next adventure.
Unlike me, a lot of my medical school peers are involved in dance activities, from ballroom to hip-hop, and claim that going to dance classes really helps them shake off any negative feelings from the day. Intrigued, I did a little research. Sure enough, I found several articles espousing the beneficial effects of dance on mental health.
I’m sure we’ve all heard the phrase, “Laughter is the best medicine,” but how many of us really believe that laughter has a positive physiologic effect on us?
A very important topic is that of mental health in medical practitioners, notably medical students. According to a study in the Student British Medical Journal, 30% of medical students report having a mental health condition — with a majority of 80% stating the level of available support was poor or only moderately adequate. This column was born from these alarming statistics and aims to stimulate conversation on mental health in medical students, from providing suggestions on how to maintain one’s mental health to discussing the taboo and stigma surrounding conversations on mental health in practitioners and students, and how to eliminate it.