Self-Care Is Hard

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As my first year as an adult (sort-of maybe I guess?) draws to an end, I find myself reflecting a lot on what has happened. Incoming interns ask for advice and I wanted to write a really cool and inspirational post but I find myself not knowing what to say. Almost as if I haven’t learned enough to offer advice.

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I wanted to answer these questions again, but I haven’t been able to finish them because they make me feel like a massive failure.

True, this year I learned a lot of things. I did C-sections. I amputated limbs. My suturing looks a smidge better these days. I can see patients fast but thoroughly in clinics and I can prescribe things without looking them up in the formulary. Well, some things.

But did I learn a new language? Did I study extra hard to make an impression on my supervisors, to make up for my average med school marks? Did I grab every opportunity to do something fun I might not get the chance to do again?

No.

What disappoints me more is noticing how I have neglected myself and by extension also my family.

I have tried to put an effort into running, but I’ve not done enough cross-training to prevent injury or just to improve my overall body conditioning. I’ve read a lot, but the journaling I started so earnestly earlier this year has fallen by the wayside.

I haven’t really improved my cooking skills. Or made mindfulness a habit. Or flossed regularly (although I researched it and apparently flossing is not really evidence-based, anyway).

I was a founding member of a research society at our hospital, and I even found an exceedingly rare case to write up, but I have been too busy to make any further work thereof.

I have done a lot to ensure that I get adequate sleep, and although it hasn’t been as much as I would have liked, it has certainly been enough to keep me healthy. But in exchange, I’ve missed out on a lot of family time.

When I reflect on the year, I see a whole lot of work, and a lot of running and reading. And some internetting. And only a little of everything else.

I am not sure that I’m satisfied with that. It doesn’t feel like a well-rounded lifestyle at all.

Where do other, more senior doctors find the time from? I feel like my time-management skills have regressed massively. I am certain I used to be able to fit so much more into my day.

Like many others, I keep advising people that “self-care is important”. But this year has shown me that adulting is so much harder than it seems, and one of the components that suffer the most, is the self.

6 thoughts on “Self-Care Is Hard

  1. It’s hard to do your job and all those things. Especially a demanding and challenging job that you’ve just begun. All the other stuff will come and in a few years you’ll find balancing it all
    much easier. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Being an intern and surviving and thriving is a pretty outstanding achievement.

  2. Self care is sooo important and SO easy to neglect, right?! Gah. I usually end up running myself ragged before I realise that I haven’t stopped to have “me” time in a while. I mean, reading/blogging is supposed to be me time, but sometimes it ends up being a part-time-job more? Which I have ZERO regrets about!! But I do need to learn how to actually switch off and relax.😄 Congrats on adulting, though.😉 No easy feat. And congrats on all the accomplishments for your career. I AM IN AWE.

  3. The title really sums it up. I’ve been feeling this way, but because I’ve become a mom (of a crazy toddler). But in so many ways it’s the same- we give of ourselves to others all day and when we’re finally able to carve out some alone time? It’s all about sleep. At least you’re like saving lives, though, haha. Keep on keeping on! Happy 2016!

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