What is medify? A labour of love to help medics maintain an optimum mental health. Read more about Medify here.
Created by OmoobaJesu Adetunji
First of all, special thanks to everyone who read and shared last week’s newsletter. I was truly stunned by all the wonderful feedback and love. I am encouraged to keep doing this. Thank you fam!
To today’s issue; Fatigue.
Am I the only one that finds it impossible to function properly when I’m really tired? I mean to even smile or talk becomes a problem. Medicine is almost synonymous with fatigue. Last week I got home 6pm or later, and I leave home around 7:30, every single day. By Wednesday I was starting to feel hopeless because I had so much to do and there was literarily no time. But all that changed by Thursday morning because God came through. So let’s talk about practical ways to handle fatigue and prevent burn out.
Ways to handle fatigue.
If you know that you will be busy throughout the day then abeg don’t miss breakfast. Try your possible best to have a good meal in the morning. I’m also not good at eating properly but something that has helped is thinking about what I’ll eat, breakfast especially, in advance like the night before. Even if it is just bread and tea, at least I’ll be okay for the first six hours of the next day and that goes a long way in itself. You can keep healthy snacks handy too, if you like to munch something when you’re reading or while in class. I don’t know why but we tend to underestimate the power of eating properly, maybe because it takes time. A good way to think about it is that, you’ll probably spend the time you’re trying to save being hungry and looking for food anyway. And if you can afford to buy takeouts, buy takeouts. Take care of yourself. Your health is a priority.
Listen to your body. If you are tired, rest. And rest does not mean scrolling through your phone or watching a movie. Rest means rest. As per unplug for a while. For most of us that usually means a good sleep. We often sacrifice our sleep on the alter of making good impressions though in this medical field. So what if you oversleep and you’re accused of being incompetent? So what? At least you’re refreshed. Know who you are, and try not to be in the habit of proving your worth to people or putting your worth in their opinion of you. Everyone has their mouth and they can say whatever they like with it. You also have your own, use it to say good things to yourself. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a place for having sleepless nights and I want to believe you can be honest with yourself and take responsibility when you know you just need to sleep. Don’t skip your rest for medicine, it will not be worth it, you will pay in coins that are too expensive. Remember your health is a priority.
Have a plan.
Have a mechanism for how your days should go on default and have a plan for how you will handle challenges when they pop up, because they will. I say this because fatigue sometimes comes from a place of frustration, like why do I have so much to do? How am I going to do it? I am hungry… I’m even tired sef. It’s like a vicious cycle. So endeavor to plan your life. It’s better if it’s only your body that is tired and not your mind because if it’s just your body you can easily rest and be revitalized but it’s your mind, it might take days, weeks or even months to get you back to a good place. Have things that keep you going and plans on how to do your work effectively in place and if you find that your plan is not working don’t just give up, try something new. Ask how people work through the workload and see of it works for you too. Don’t take defeat as your destiny. Keep going!
See ehn, from experience I know that this is the easiest thing to do when the going gets tough but I also know, from experience, that it doesn’t help anyone or anything ooooo. Lol. Here’s the thing; this is training. This is what you asked for when you put medicine in your JAMB form. You’re living the dream and you’re here to learn so just sucking it up and make the best use of your time. Even if you were forced into this profession, well you’re here now so move on. Complaining drains energy I’m telling you and it gives one excuses to be sloppy and lazy. It does not help. Let’s trash it and be done with it from now on please.
It helps when we know that we are not alone and even the supernatural is on our side. I don’t know about anyone else but God has always come through for me when I am exhausted, even when I forget to tell him warris going on. God is a very pleasant help in times of trouble. I have listed very nice and thought through tips above but the truth is life happens and they may all fail. There are situations where it seems you’ve done your possible best and you’re still tired. In times like those, let God take over. In fact before it gets to that stage just carry Him along because of a truth, God makes ways where they are none. I’ve seen it happen over and over. God is faithful.
I guess I’ll have to talk about burn out some other time. I hope you have been medified? If yes, kindly share with a fellow medic.
I wish you a very happy week.