Who would have thought that this would be 2020? COVID-19 has changed so much. There have been disappointing times and lots of sacrifices have been made. A career in medicine, as a physician, is truly a calling. Starting a psychiatry residency in the middle of a pandemic has been quite the experience. I was able to see firsthand how much busier the hospital has been. I think about the lack of beds, survival of the fittest with PPE, and remaining as cautious as possible all while trying to provide the highest and safest quality of care to my patients. For much of the first few months, I was always exhausted catching up on sleep and trying to take a stab at my mountain list of to-dos. Trust me, I’m ready to return to normalcy.
One thing I want to share that has always stayed the same in my routine—MUSIC. I’m a firm believer that music is good for the soul, and it has been an outlet for me that allows me to feel a sense of normal. I stopped taking conference calls on my drives home, and now I use that time to listen to music as it always lifts my spirits. I recognize we have limited time in medical school and/or residency and make many sacrifices, but music should not be one of them.
In a meta-analysis of 400 studies, researchers found that music improves the body’s immune system function and reduces stress by reducing levels of cortisol, which is one of the many reasons why music is associated with relaxation. The University of Nevada shared that upbeat music is said to make one feel more optimistic and positive.
Some of my favorite artists of the moment are Sam Smith, Ariana Grande, JoJo, Meghan Trainor, Jason Derulo, Maroon 5, John Legend, and Luke Coombs. I totally recommend checking them out!
Just remember to do something for yourself to keep your mental health in check—doctor’s orders. I am optimistic because there is light at the end of the tunnel, and no matter what, I truly believe that everything works out the way it’s supposed to in the end. Please stay safe and well and listen to great music! #KeepMusicInMind
Thoughts from a psychiatry resident physician,