Friday, 11 August 2017

How I'm coping with my new doctor lifestyle

If you are a regular reader of my blog you may know that I started my first job as a doctor a couple of weeks ago. As you can imagine, it has been quite exhausting. But I have really enjoyed it so far and haven't found it too difficult - although I think that's partly due to a few adjustments to my lifestyle. I thought I would share them with you, as they are probably applicable to most people that work full-time!

The biggest coping strategy for me has been getting plenty of sleep. Some days I have been going to bed as early as 8.30pm as I have been getting up around 6.30am to be in the hospital for 8am. I think my optimum sleeping time is probably 10 hours, but obviously that's not feasible most nights as I would hardly have any time after work in the evenings, so I try and get at least 8 hours of sleep each night. I really notice it the next day if I don't and find it really hard to get up. This is a big lifestyle change for me as I am such a night owl and usually stay up until 2 in the morning if I don't have to be up the next day, so I've had to get myself into a proper sleeping routine. I have been so exhausted after work that I've actually found it easier than I thought I would!

Whilst at work I am sometimes so overwhelmed by the amount of jobs I have to do that I'm tempted to work through my lunch break, and often don't even make time to have a drink or go to the loo. The past few days I have realised that this isn't good for me and I can't let my health suffer, so I have made sure that I have taken breaks and listened to what my body needs. One of my colleagues can cover for me for a few minutes, and I need food whilst I'm working long days.

Following on from the point above, I have also realised that I need to eat a decent amount of food to keep me going throughout the day. I make sure that I get up early enough to have breakfast (otherwise I really suffer during the morning), and I always have something with carbs in it at lunch to keep me going through the afternoon. As a junior doctor we are on our feet a fair amount, and I have found myself frequently rushing between wards and up and down stairs, so I need decent nutrition to fuel all of that energy. Not to mention the fuel to keep my brain working all day!

Another thing that keeps me going through the week is having things to look forward to. I have got a fair few things planned over the next few weeks and that really helps me to push through when I'm really tired and feel like I need a day off. Sometimes I also just look forward to a day of doing nothing! My consultant told me that I should have something exciting planned every 6-8 weeks, and use my annual leave wisely, as this will really help me to get through the long weeks at work.

Another thing I have felt that has really helped is planning my outfit the night before, so that I have an extra 5 minutes in the morning to sleep or relax. I have also really enjoyed dressing professionally for work, so planning my outfit for the next day actually becomes quite an enjoyable thing to do each evening.

I am now living on my own in my flat, so it's really important for me to see my friends and family in my spare time (and not become a hermit like I'm sometimes tempted to do when I'm so tired!). I have made sure that I have seen a couple of friends each week, and I have also had phone calls with some of my friends and family too. I find that it really helps to talk to them about my day at work and have a bit of company - and also someone to talk about non-work things with. Sometimes, as much as I love it, I just need to escape medicine for a few hours!
Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you've figured out pretty early just how to take care of yourself as a doctor! You're going to be absolutely fine if you can carry on with all of this. Also - LOVE the shoes! I think I need a pair to match my stethoscope too (although it's been rather neglected now that I've started psychiatry haha)
    Jennifer x
    Ginevrella | Lifestyle Blog