Coping with Stress

Whether you're just getting back into school (like me), revving up for the MCAT, in med school or finishing up your residency, you're probably dealing with alot more stress than the average Joe. With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the stress-busters we've found effective.
Things that really make a difference for me:
Once an hour, when studying, I'll take a break, step into another room (somewhere where I can't see books, calculators, etc) and spend a couple minutes stretching. Calms me down and energizes me at the same time.
Dress super casual for class. I'm business casual at work and at the end of a day I'm feeling almost claustrophobic in a dress shirt, shoes and pants. Taking 60 seconds to throw on a t-shirt, shorts and sandals makes a HUGE difference. Plus, I'm 32 years old and married, who am I trying to impress at school?
Schedule time where I'm not allowed to study or think about school. Friday nights are nice for me. There's no class, and when I get home I can actually have a relaxed dinner with the wife and we get to spend a whole 3 hours (!!!) watching tv, relaxing, giving each other foot massages, whatever. Doesn't mean I don't study Friday night, but school doesn't exist for me between 6 and 9pm.
That's it for me, but I'm pretty new at this. What's in your bag of tricks?

I do the study break thing - 10 mins out of 60 - but rather than stretching I do my laundry- put in a load, move to dryer, retreive a load - its a little walk to the laundry room and back and it gets me outside. also useful time for unloading the dishwasher, etc.

A warm bath (with no interuptions!) and a cup of tea always it for me.

Favorite study break:
Marching up and down several flights of stairs to get the heart pumping (I try to take bathroom breaks on different floors), and then taking some deep breaths and stretching out to cool down.

Walk my dogs.
Play with my parrot.
A long, hot, whirlpool bath.
And, above all else, a date night every week with my husband!

Does anyone else…o god, here goes…veg out watching reruns of The Real World on MTV? Although I have never watched the show during its normal time slot (whenever that is…), somehow I seem to end up passed out on the couch, dozing through one of those marathons where they have the entire season back to back in one afternoon. It’s so blissfully mind-numbing.
That, and I walk my dogs alot. tongue.gif

I have to laugh at the one about the episodes of the Real World. I love watching that show too. I thought I was the only one who liked it. I am still trying to find the best study habits for me but I do take a break about every hour. Sometimes I just read a magazine for a little bit.

for me, I veg out with “Trading Spaces” – I know, I know - I just can’t help it -

Hey All,
Some of the ideas sound great, except I don’t have cable - and my parrot died. Doesn’t anyone surf? I realize that some of our finest states have lowsy surf (I can’t imagine trying it in Nevada), however it seems that OPM’s are represented all over the U.S. A.
When I can’t take anymore review for the day (especially during the afternoon slump hours) I jet down to Newport (18th Street) and catch what there is to offer. In fact, after working at my day job today (in about one-hour) I will disappear for an hour or two to surf. It doesn’t really matter is the waves are good or bad, just getting out there makes all the difference in the world.

hey- you’re in my neck-o-the-woods, I live in CDM smile.gif
but its been Decades since I went body surfing at 22nd St or the Wedge - never tried that stand-up stuff though …
Have you heard the story about the premed surfer who was waitlisted at UCI and they were trying to notify him on a Friday to come start at UCI Medical School on Monday - and finally someone ran him down at the beach, called him in out of the water and delivered the news smile.gif smile.gif

I run 6-8 miles a day.
Though I do confess to watching Real World AND Trading Spaces. I’m also a big fan of This Old House, Before and After, and some other home shows that I can’t remember the names of. Before and After is on HGTV weeknights at 7.30 EST…check it out. rolleyes.gif
Funny, I’m never so much a TV person until I have to study. Otherwise, it’s off for days…

Haven't done body surfing in years, but man, it's great stuff!
Now, inquiring minds want to know from everyone here: which med schools, other than VCU-MCV, have swimming pools? It's the right mix of workout and relaxation for me. Anyone know?! Thanks!

GWU's athletic facilities include a pool - it's a few blocks from Ross Hall and the hospital. I had a classmate who regularaly skipped histo lab to go for a swim. I think Georgetown's facility has a pool, too; dunno how close to the med school/hospital it is though.

Stritch School of Medicine at Loyola near Chicago has a health club with an Olympic-size pool and huge basketball court attached to the medical school building.
Both the the school and the health club facilities are terrific - really new and nicely maintained. You don't even have to go outside. In February in Chicago, that's a real plus.
Susan - Chicago

at UCI, all ugrads and (I assume) grad/professional students can use the campus rec facility at no charge - alums, faculty and spouses can join for a fee - gyms, track, weights, classes, courts & pool - you can also swim in at Crawford pool at the athletic complex, but the hours are limited due to conflicts with team practices (H2O polo etc.)

Thanks Mary, SPN & Lisa! Anyone else have a med school complete with a lap pool and/or gym nearby? Inquiring minds want to know! biggrin.gif

I bake.
No, not that kind of baking.
There’s a bakery in Cambridge - Rosie’s Bakery. They have some of the most dense, delicious cookies, brownies … There is a poppy seed pound cake that, with a hot cup of coffee, would just curl yer toes.
Well, anyway, I bought their baking book close to ten years ago.
There are times when I just have to bake something, to take my mind off of things.
There’s something so relaxing about measuring, sifting, mixing. I can’t explain it, but I’m sure all of you understand.
Then that warm smell, coming from the oven - of spices and butter.
Just before the AZCOM interview, I made these little chocolate cakes that were still runny in the middle, with this mint chocolate sauce that I made with just chocolate, mint extract, butter and powdered sugar.
Between bites, my wife said “I love this, but at this rate - with all the interviews you have in October, you’re going to kill both of us.”
- Tae