I started making better decisions about my diet and physical activity because I wanted to be more health conscious. Cooking, meal-prepping, and daily exercise became a part of my life because they not only benefit my health but also served as a way for me to practice #selfcare.
These practices were easy to do during the first two years of medical school because given a more flexible schedule. But when I started my clinical rotations I was worried about how I could implement them especially during rotations with more demanding hours. What I soon learned that making smart decisions at the hospital and setting some extra time on my days off could really help during the busy work week. For example, if I didn’t have time to meal prep I would just grab a salad I had purchased from the grocery store and order a chicken breast from the hospital cafe to throw on top. I would also carry a nutritious bar, almond butter packets, or carrot sticks in my white coat to snack on during the day. I would make an effort to take the stairs or part further from the entrance and walk if I knew that I would have a late night that day and miss the gym.
All of these modifications helped me still keep a “healthy” lifestyle but also manage to do well during my clinical rotations. The truth is I am still learning but I think that if I make conscious decisions to eat well and get exercise even just for 15-20 min I have accomplished all my goals for that day.