🎄 Enjoying the Holidays in Medical School and Residency


Happy Sunday!

This past week, I've really been getting into the holiday spirit❄️. Even as I'm writing this, I have my Balsam & Cedar scented candle lit and a lovely Christmas background on my second monitor. I love watching a city transform for the winter holidays...call me crazy, but the air just feels different!

The holidays aren't always the most wonderful time of the year though.

A career in medicine unfortunately means that at some point, you'll be working on a holiday😢. As fate would have it, I'm scheduled to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas this year🎅🏼.

This is something that I don't think is discussed enough. As rewarding as pursuing a career in medicine is, there are so many events that are liable to be missed. Whether it's a birthday, a dinner, or a holiday party, we all inevitably find ourselves having to turn down an invitation at some point due to work or school💔.

Add on top of that the Seasonal Affective Disorder that hits colder areas with less sunlight and it can be a recipe for disaster☠️.

But it doesn't have to be!

One thing that I've learned as I progressed through medical school, residency, and now life as an attending is that we make time for the things we want (and need)🕑. This isn't a free pass to blow off work or other responsibilities, but it is encouragement to find joy in the people and places that spark it.

Can't make it home for the holidays? Try to visit family earlier in the month or celebrate virtually over Facetime or Zoom📱.

Missing out on a holiday party? Throw a holiday party of your own or see if your friends can get together for a nice holiday-themed potluck🍲.

Working on Christmas day? Grab a Santa hat or some reindeer antlers and bring holiday spirit with you to the hospital🦌. I know that's what I'll do!

Although the circumstances won't always line up perfectly for us to get the time that we want off, we can still always find a way to take the time we need to maintain balance⚖️.

While there are certainly times in medicine when we need to be tough and power through, this is not one of those scenarios.

We need to prioritize ourselves and make sure our buckets are filled, especially if we are going to be treating and caring for others.

I hope everyone has a happy, safe, and fulfilling holiday season!☃️

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