Monthly Update : January 2017

January 31, 2017

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What a month.

UPS

  • I completed another course in medical school, Endocrine II. I enjoyed endocrine much more this time around, perhaps because of the pathology. I didn't love Endocrine I last year, so it's nice to have a stronger appreciation for it this year. 
  • I'm getting better at saying NO to things that make me unhappy. Protecting my time is proving to be amazing for my mental health. 
  • I started teaching meditation at my school for a meditation research study another friend of mine is conducting. It's fun to connect with first year students and it's always a great reminder for me to be mindful of my own thoughts and actions. 
  • I've had this super weird skin rash for a while, so I finally got it checked out by a dermatologist. It's totally benign (and also super weird), but I'm glad it's nothing to worry about. It's something called Schaumberg's disease & I'll be writing a whole post all about it later in February. 
  • I registered for the SAAO convocation in March. Basically, I get to go to a kick ass conference and learn about osteopathic medicine from some really amazing docs. I. Can't. Wait. 

DOWNS

  • I rang in the new year with a nasty little virus. It took a while to kick it, but it was certainly a downer there for a while. 
  • There was a lot of anxiety floating around school at the beginning of the semester. Board exams are terrifying, but the negative energy bouncing around was enough to drive me crazy. I am fully ignoring all the panic now that I have a plan
  • My heart breaks more and more each day with what's happening with politics and our country. My blog will not be a place for me to discuss those things... but goodness, it's been a downer of a month for me. 

IN PROGRESS

  • After a lot of self reflection, I decided to apply to the osteopathic fellowship at my school. My heart was always torn between applying for the anatomy fellowship and the osteopathic fellowship... but when I sat down and was honest with myself, I knew that I wanted the osteopathic fellowship much, much more. I poured my heart into my application & I have an interview next week on February 6. I have SO many incredible classmates who applied to the fellowship as well, so regardless of who is chosen, I know the department will end up with a great group of fellows. I have so much piece of mind knowing that I have put my best foot forward and if I am not chosen for the fellowship, that's going to be ok too. Putting everything you've got towards a goal can be intimidating, but you'll never know what could happen if you don't put yourself out there. 

LET GO OF

  • Guilt. When I have to study and get things done, I feel horrible saying no to seeing my family or friends. I know they understand, but I still carry around a lot of guilt when I can't be at certain events.
  • Anxiety. All I can do is my best... and that just has to be good enough. 

WHAT I HOPE TO REMEMBER FROM JANUARY 2017

  • Celebrating 6 months of marriage
  • M & I making decisions to take better care of our mental and physical health 
  • I'm so happy I married M. He's the best guy out there - and there's no one else in the world I'd rather do life with. 

Fight like hell

January 27, 2017



The past few weeks have certainly been rough on me. There is a lot of anxiety floating around about board exams this summer, and anxiety is very contagious. I have felt super overwhelmed, which I'm usually able to avoid. This semester is going to be a marathon. It's all about finishing strong with my coursework, preparing myself adequately for my board exams in June, and maintaining my emotional, physical, mental & spiritual health. That's no small task.

I'm absolutely in love with the Awkward Yeti, and this cartoon seems to sum everything up well for me. The odds do not seem in my favor, but that will make it feel even better when I get to the end of this crazy journey!

As a crazy obsessive, type-A planner, I found that taking the time to make a plan made me feel SO much better. (Go figure, right?).

SO. I finally booked my exam dates... and rescheduled them... and rescheduled again, until I was able to find the dates and locations I was hoping for. Now they are set in stone and I can officially plan around them. I will take my USMLE on June 23 and my COMLEX on June 28. It's officially in my planner, and that oddly makes me more calm.

Everyone (and I mean EVERYONE!) has an opinion about board studying and the best way to go about it. I've listened to dozens of people, read all kinds of websites, and I'm officially over it. I've decided on my best plan for studying between now & June... and I'm sticking to it. That's advice I keep hearing over and over again - - trust your own plan and be confident that you're studying the best way you can for YOU. So I'm covering my eyes & ears, ignoring what everyone else is doing, and running with my own version of a study plan.

Again, I felt better once I created a study plan. Type-A for the win.

The further along I got in my planning, I realized that I'm at a point that I seriously just need a plan for everything. I can stick to a schedule, I can stick to a plan, I can cross things off to do lists. I just realized I was SO sick of thinking about everything I needed to do all the time.

SO I KEPT PLANNING (you guys, I'm a sick breed of human).

I quit my yoga membership a few months back and opted to stream videos online because I was so tired of trying to make it to a class at a certain time. I have no regrets about that. (something else I've learned about this journey is to be open to the idea of admitting when things are NOT working for you). I've been using Gaia online and I absolutely love it!  However, I wanted to do more to hold myself accountable for my nutritional goals and work out goals. SO, I went all in and decided to join a friend of mine who is coaching for Beach Body. I've committed to a healthier diet, a more consistent work out routine, and a support network to cheer me along. Win, win. I'm excited to have a mix of great cardio/yoga/strength training workouts at hand to help me stay on top of my physical and mental health throughout this marathon of a semester (and beyond, of course.)

With each step of planning, I could feel my brain clear. I was happier with each thing I added to a list. I was overjoyed with the idea of having everything planned and scheduled... judge me all you want. I openly admit my craziness.

But the best part? I feel SO much better. And I feel like me again. I'm not overwhelmed anymore, and  I feel like I can start fighting like hell to be the best version of myself. Learning things for boards (and for my future as a doctor!) will all be much easier when my head and my heart are in the right place.

My goals?

  1. Stick to the plan. Be flexible and forgiving of myself when I can't and when I don't, because inevitably, I am not going to be able to follow my plans perfectly. I'm aiming for progress > perfection. 
  2. Pay attention to how I feel daily, weekly, monthly. I plan to constantly check in to see what needs arise and how I can address them. 
  3. Find the joy. As my good friend reminded me, all I have to do is LEARN. And stay healthy enough to appreciate it and retain it for the long term. Touché, and well said. Being a student is a privilege and I'm (unfortunately) quick to forget that when I get stressed out. 
What are your goals? Say them out loud! Write them down! Tell a friend! It holds you accountable and encourages you to stick with it. 

Happy Friday, friends. Fight like hell & chase your dreams! 
I have a whole lotta learning ahead of me this weekend.

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