Hi pals! My name is Hannah Wulfsohn and I am a first-year (Graduate Entry Programme) GEP student in the BVM&S program from Toronto, Canada. This is the first of three blog posts you will be getting from me. I hope with this series I can shed a little light on what the next four to five years of your life might look like.
Today I wanted to talk about what happens outside the classroom, or rather, what should be happening outside the classroom. We know her, we love her, we don’t pay enough attention to her….self-care!! I cannot stress how important self-care will be throughout your time here.
Throughout high school as well as my undergraduate degree I kept constantly busy. I was overly involved and did not feel productive unless every hour of my day was dedicated to class, societies, a part-time job and hanging out with friends.
As I am only three months into vet school, it did not take me long to realise things would be different for me here. I am spending far more time on my studies than high school and undergrad combined. The difficult and heavy workload as well as the stress of being so far from home has encouraged me to set some time in my schedule to decompress and just breathe. This has made all the difference.
What works for you will almost certainly be different from what works for me. However, I wanted to highlight my self-care thus far in the semester.
- RUNNING- physical activity is a great way to keep your body and mind healthy. I have been using running (in the hope of running the Edinburgh half marathon this year) to clear my head and also explore parts of Edinburgh I wouldn’t normally see. My favourite runs so far have been in Hollyrood Park, up and around Arthur’s Seat and along Portobello Beach.
- Movie and TV show nights- Me and my pals set aside one night a week to watch the Bachelor. Not only is it possibly the least mentally stimulating show of all time, but it also gives us a taste of what we might be watching if we were at home in North America. *~Will you accept these tips for self-care ~?*
- Pints with pals- this may seem obvious but it is easy to let quality time with friends go by the wayside when school gets overwhelming, which it will at times. We have been able to meet locals, see different sides of the city and try different craft bears around the city!
- Washing your face/warm shower/journaling- With my closest friends here being my flatmates and other vet med students, I rarely get time just to be alone. As an extroverted introvert, I need some time alone to recharge my battery. These are simple, short time commitment ways, I can be alone with my thoughts.
- Board games- last but not least I LOVE to have board games or a deck of cards on hand to play with friends. This is one of my favourite ways to decompress. There are also pubs around the city that offer board games there! One of my favourites is DogHouse on Newington Road. The other night, my friends wanted to play a board game but we couldn’t find a game that we were all in the mood for. We finally settled on Catan. HAHA, get it?? No?? Oh ok…
I know many of you may feel apprehensive about applying, deciding on schools and beginning your vet med journeys. However, self-care remains critically important in all aspects of your life. Setting time aside for yourself will benefit you now, throughout your veterinary education, as well as your career as a veterinarian.