Establishing Good Habits
Residents receive specific training and mentoring on staying well when they are extremely busy and how to develop healthy living habits for what ever life brings. It is our hope that the good habits they develop now can will help them be more effective for life.
Though living healthy and making changes is rarely easy, the opportunity to do so in the storm exists. Some simple strategies, a lot of practice, group support, and some coaching or mentoring help our residents be amongst the happiest and healthiest of any family practice residency.
Here are a few principles we teach:
1. The 5 Pillars of Wellness:
There are five pillars that will, if done moderately well, keep you and your dreams alive. If you do nothing else, find the best ways for you to get good rest/sleep, move your body, fuel your body, connect with supportive people and cultivate a sense of purpose.
- Good Sleep and Relaxation: get enough sleep and find a simple, healthy way to relax daily.
- Movement and Play: discover some movement you like to do, build it into your life, and do it often.
- Fuel: stay well fed, oxygenated and hydrated.
- Loving Supportive Connections: WARNING: you can’t do this alone! Have at least one person who you can confide in, even if you have to hire them … I mean like a therapist!
- Purpose, Meaning, and Depth: make sense of this phase of your life and training.
2. Life Management for Extreme Conditions: creating a plan for moving the few things that are really important to your wellbeing forward when time is a premium. The system we have developed is based on creating small steps and doing them regularly and redefining success in the early stages to noticing.
These principles in addition to the supportive environment allow for the possibility of health and wellness to exist along side residency training (most of the time).
For those of you in the medical field or in medical training who are looking for your own personal wellness crash cart, try Ben Brown MD’s book on resident wellness.