Are you a medical student who is busy going through the motions of your studies, with your eyes on the prize and that dream career at the end of the tunnel? While it’s certainly great to have drive and motivation, if that’s all you’re focused on, then burnout may be just around the corner.

It’s frankly impossible to pour all you have into one segment of your life and then expect everything else to just operate smoothly. Rather than have that one-track mind of your studies being the only thing that matters, you need to find ways to relax and have some fun in your spare time.

To help get you into that more balanced mindset and put some much-needed emphasis on relaxation and fun, here are five ways you can go about it.

Actively Schedule Downtime for Yourself

Here’s a tip that is especially important for those who are already working in the medical field and also attending classes in their free time in order to boost their skills and education so they can work their way up the career ladder. Scheduling downtime may seem difficult, but it is important so that you can maintain a healthy life balance.

If you are a nurse who has enrolled in nursing leadership courses at a reputable school like Baylor University so that you can eventually step into the role of a nurse leader – an executive position – then you know better than anyone how precious free time can be. It’s very easy to get caught up between your job as a nurse, and your studies. Where is the time for you? This is exactly why it’s so important to actively schedule free time into your routine. If that means blocking off time in your schedule where you don’t allow yourself to make any other plans, then that’s what you need to do.

Think of it this way – not only is downtime something to look forward to, but it also helps with your mental and physical well-being. It will help you be that much more focused when you’re tackling your studies, or while you’re at work. It’s about finding that healthy balance in life.

Get Outdoors More Often

It really doesn’t matter the season, getting outdoors is always a great way to clear your mind, give your body that chance to relax, and truly feel more refreshed. The great thing is that the outdoors can offer you a laidback experience, or you can be active with a sport, hobby, or activity.

Some of the best outdoor activities that are both relaxing and enjoyable are running, hiking, walking, biking, and swimming. Each of these activities will get your body moving, boost those feel-good endorphins, and allow you to burn off a little steam and stress.

If you’d rather take a more relaxed approach to your outdoor time, you can always sit in your yard with a book, listening to your favorite music, or just enjoying the sounds of nature around you. Don’t forget that outdoor entertaining is also a great opportunity to get outside while socializing with friends and family.

As for the actual health benefits of going outdoors, there are a few, including the fact that it will give your body a boost of vitamin D thanks to the sun. Vitamin D has been shown to have disease-fighting abilities, and it doesn’t take long to get your daily dose. All you need is about 15 minutes in the sun 3-4 times per week. Of course, you don’t want to forget to wear your sunscreen, as SPF protection is also important to your health.

Join a Class That’s All About Fun

You’re used to medical classes and courses, and while those are interesting, they can’t exactly be described as fun. So, why not join a class that is all about fun and broadening your skills, hobbies, and interests? That could include something like a dance class, a cooking class, painting courses, sewing, Yoga class, or anything else that interests you.

Joining a class such as these will obviously give you an opportunity to learn or enhance a skill/hobby but there’s also the fact you’ll be able to meet other likeminded people. It’s the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation with others in the class, all go out for a coffee after, and really expand your social circle.

Book That Mini Vacation

Perhaps you don’t have the time or budget to get away on a traditional holiday, but that doesn’t mean you can’t book a mini vacation. Even if that means you just go away overnight, or for the weekend, it could be exactly what you need. There’s just something so relaxing, exciting, and fun about experiencing another destination even if it’s just for a short time.

If you are going to book a mini vacation, it’s usually a good idea to pick a destination that is within a short drive. This means you won’t have to spend your entire vacation in-transit. You want the emphasis to be on relaxation, exploring, and enjoying your actual vacation.

Make a Point to Stay in Touch with Friends

It can be very easy to lose track of friends when you’re busy juggling your studies. There’s just so much on your plate, and even if you don’t mean to lose that connection, it can happen. This is why it’s so important you make it a point to stay in touch with friends. Just that quick little phone call, text message, or even instant message can make all the difference in your day and put a smile on your face.

Some of the best friends you can make in your life are those that understand how busy life can get, and are just always happy to chat and get together whenever there is an opportunity.

So, while your medical studies are very important, it’s also a good idea to prioritize your mental well-being. This means making time to have fun and giving yourself permission to live in the moment.

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