This article was written by Kelsey Kinney, a first-year medical student at IU School of Medicine.
As an MS1, I am definitely still working on finding the right life/school balance! I look for ways to be super-efficient with my time so I can fit things I love (and/or things I know are good for me) into each day. The three strategies I use for maintaining my wellness are:
Meal prep nutritious foods
Multitask with my ears when my hands are busy
Exercise 5 minutes a day
Eating at home is healthier and cheaper, especially when you cook big batches of food that freeze well! I view setting aside time to cook as an investment in my health. If you’ve never tried meal prepping before, give it a shot. One hour of cooking a giant pot of Tortilla Soup or Chili can save you hours over the next few weeks when you may not have the energy or time to make good food choices. If you’re looking for inspiration, check out this Mango Curry recipe from my favorite cookbook, Thug Kitchen. To optimize both my time and mood, I add music and audiobooks to my mundane daily activities! I bop to my favorite playlists while showering and listen to books while cooking/cleaning/doing laundry. Enjoyment + Productivity = Less Stress. My current book recommendations are the Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy) and You’re the Only One I’ve Told by Meera Shah (Non-Fiction). Fitting exercise in to our busy schedules can seem overwhelming sometimes, so I set myself a reasonable goal – 5 minutes a day. Everyone has 5 minutes! Often, once I’m moving, I feel good and want to do more, but sometimes I don’t, and that’s ok! I’m an Audible user, and they have a “MoveWith” series of short workouts that are free with the subscription. My favorite from this series is Ab Blaster if you want to try something new!