I woke up at 07:39am today, bleary-eyed and tense. Clearly my body still hasn’t caught up on the fact that I finished my exams yesterday and therefore shouldn’t be waking me up on my day off with adrenaline, or cortisol, or whatever other hormones coursing through my body telling me “SHIT SHIT SHIT, REVISE REVISE REVISE“.
I have come to a few realisations the last few months. Firstly, even though being on one of the worst rotas known to medicine (aka. the dreaded neonatal SHO rota), I have managed to just about revise a reasonable amount for my exams yesterday. I don’t know if it’s enough to pass, but it’s proven I can juggle quite a lot. Yes, there have been a few tears and episodes of furiously rubbing my temples thinking ‘WTF am I doing?!‘, but I have managed to save babies, revise for exams and still see my friends. I wish I could go back in time and give med-school-self a kick up the arse for thinking waking up at 10am to go revise in the library for 8 hours was horrendous.
Secondly, I don’t take care of myself at all. I feel unhealthy, unexercised and unfit. A few months ago, I would have thought eating those abominable ready meals with 56% saturated fats every night shift was absolutely fine. But then I realised this month I do night shifts literally every other week. Which means I spend a quarter of my dinner times eating ready meals. So the ready meals have gone, replaced by bringing loads of fruit to nibble on through the night.
I’m also going to slowly introduce my body to the concept of exercise. I’m not saying, hey, this is the NEW ME – I am EXERCISE MAD NOW. That will not happen… for a long while. I just want to become a bit more familiar with the experience of endorphins and seeing my thighs tone up a bit. Not too much to ask of my slightly flabby, worn-out body.
The last realisation came last night when I watched Love & Friendship (which is amazing by the way, add to your movie list now). I know I watch a lot of period dramas and I watch a lot of fine, genteel ladies and gentlemen taking leisurely walks around stately homes and gardens. But how relaxing it must have been to just walk with your friends talking; not rushing around, with your iPhone in your pocket thinking “Ooh, that doorstep would be a nice pic for Instagram”. Point is, I’m going to try and detach myself from a bit more from the modern world. I long to just walk around with no checklist in my head. To read a book on my balcony. To bake cakes and not stress about it slightly burning.
The point of all this is that I need to care for myself better. Be a bit more zen in life; my body is a temple etc etc. Life is way too short and before I know it, I’ll be one of those grumpy haggard consultants wandering around the hospital thinking “What else have I done in this life I had? Have I actually been happy?”. Let’s hope I will be.