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Balancing Medical School with Self-Care: Tips for Maintaining Your Health While Pursuing Your Dreams

Aspiring physicians have a lot on their plates. Starting with the med school application process and continuing through the residency match and beyond, it can be easy to neglect one’s own health and well-being. However, taking care of oneself is essential for success in medical school and beyond. Here are some tips for balancing medical school with self-care.

Prioritize Sleep

Getting enough sleep is critical for maintaining one’s health and wellbeing. Unfortunately, medical school schedules can make it difficult to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep each night. However, making sleep a priority can help to improve concentration, memory, and overall health. Some tips for improving sleep hygiene include:

  • Establishing a regular sleep schedule
  • Creating a relaxing bedtime routine
  • Avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime
  • Creating a sleep-friendly environment (e.g. cool, dark, and quiet)

Make Time for Physical Activity

Regular exercise is another important aspect of self-care. Exercise not only helps to maintain physical health, but can also reduce stress and improve mood. Even 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can make a big difference. Some tips for incorporating physical activity into a busy med school schedule include:

  • Joining a sports team or fitness class
  • Taking a walk during breaks between classes or rotations
  • Doing quick workouts at home or in a gym
  • Using exercise as a study break

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and cultivating a non-judgmental awareness of one’s thoughts and feelings. Mindfulness practices can help to reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote overall well being. Some tips for incorporating mindfulness into a busy med school schedule include:

  • Trying a guided meditation app or podcast
  • Practicing deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation
  • Taking a few moments each day to reflect on one’s experiences and emotions
  • Setting aside time for self-reflection or journaling

Connect with Others

Medical school can be a lonely and isolating experience. However, connecting with others can help to reduce stress and promote overall well being. Some tips for building social connections include:

  • Joining a student organization or club
  • Attending social events and networking opportunities
  • Making time for friends and family outside of med school
  • Seeking out a mentor or support group for medical students

Seek out Support When Needed

Finally, it’s important to recognize that everyone needs support from time to time. Whether it’s academic support, mental health support, or just someone to talk to, there are resources available for medical students. Some resources to consider include:

  • Academic tutoring or counseling services offered by the medical school
  • Mental health services offered by the medical school or in the community
  • Peer support groups or mentoring programs for medical students
  • Online forums or support groups for aspiring physicians

It’s important to remember that taking care of oneself is not selfish, but rather an essential aspect of success in medical school and beyond. By prioritizing sleep, exercise, mindfulness, social connections, and support, aspiring physicians can maintain their health and wellbeing while pursuing their dreams.

How to Start Medical School with the Right Mindset

It’s worth noting that maintaining good health is not only important for medical students, but also for applicants who are preparing for the med school application process. By taking care of themselves during the application process, applicants can demonstrate their ability to manage stress and balance competing demands, which can help to set them apart from other applicants.

If you’re in the process of applying to medical school, set yourself up for success now and in the future by maintaining healthy habits. Start with the following priorities:

  1. Manage stress: Taking time out of each day to relax and de-stress can be when preparing for medical school applications Relaxation techniques such as deep, progressive muscle relaxation, mindfulness activities can help to reduce levels and increase focus.
  2. Exercise regularly: Exercise helps manage application-related stress, improve concentration and mental stamina. Even 20-30 minutes of moderate exercise per day can make a big difference in overall wellbeing.
  3. Eat healthy: Eating a nutritious diet helps to maintain physical health as well as improving cognitive performance. Planning ahead to incorporate healthy meals into busy schedules is an important aspect of self care while preparing for applications.


In conclusion, it is important to remember that taking care of oneself during the medical school application process and beyond is not selfish but essential for success. If you’re in the process of applying to medical school or even if you are already a student, prioritize self-care by managing stress, exercising regularly, and eating healthy. Make sure to take advantage of all available resources such as academic tutoring services, mental health services, peer support groups and online forums so that you can achieve your goals while maintaining good health!

Mehedi Hasan

Mehedi Hasan is an enthusiastic health blogger and the founder member of WOMS. He likes to share his thoughts to make people inspired about their fitness. He is an experienced writer and author on highly authoritative health blogs.

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