So here I am, just a first year at med school and I am actually starting to feel alive! The upper years warned us about taking care of ourselves through this program so we don’t look “faded” and “weathered” by the time we make it to our internship. Well, listen up if you’ve ever felt immense stress in your life! This is my tale, and I highly suggest you seek health advice from a medical professional (ahem – naturopathic doctors are incredible). Last semester this was my supplement regime: probiotics and vitamin D. Yep. Just two. What happened during exams? I cried…I cried…I laughed hysterically…and then I cried some more. Just the sheer sound of my mom’s voice would make me burst into tears. I was on an emotionally rollercoaster and I could hardly focus enough to study. We wrote 10 exams in our final exam period…no no…you read the correctly! Ten freaking exams!
I swear to you, I was crying daily, I was frazzled, and I thought this might be too much for me. For ME!!! I am such a fighter in life, I’ve never imagined telling myself that an educational program would be too much for me.
What in the world was going on?!?!
I got through finals, I got straight As (except for one course) and I decided I needed to take care of my body. Believe me, when you are as burnt out and stressed as I was it doesn’t get better when the stress of exams ends. Finals affected my body and my spirit for the next month…and I took it into my own hands to do something for myself. I started taking a wonderful B-complex vitamin that helped support my mood disruptions, ginkgo biloba to support my cognitive function, and of course my typical probiotics, vit. D, and vit. C.
Hollllyyyyyyy molllllyyyyyy. I feel like I can conquer the world. I recently went through midterms, 96 hours of the week, and I wrote 6 exams…that’s about 20 hours of exam writing in a 96 hour span…insanity? Welcome to naturopathic medical school. But guess what? I wasn’t burnt out…I wasn’t crying every day…I didn’t feel like I couldn’t’ handle it. I conquered midterm week and I came out victorious!
For stress, insomnia, fatigue, mood disruptions, etc. I love my B-complex. There are other products out there like adaptogens that I will be looking into as I’ve seen them work wonders on other students. Adaptogens help you get through stressful times, but you can take them even if you’re not stressed as a preventative measure. Some adaptogens are even nootropic (helping with memory and cognitive functioning) so YES! If you’re having trouble with stress and memory, take a look at ashwaganda, roseroot, or brahmi. Great herbs but please do speak to a doctor to make sure there are no contraindications that would indicate you should not take them!
Do I love being able to handle this stressful program? Yes.
Will I keep on pushing forward? Now that I actually can! Yes!
Do I want YOU to fight for what you want and feel great while you do it? Of course!
I hope this opened your eyes to realize that you don’t have to feel broken and depressed when stressful times come upon you. You can support your body and actually thrive in these situations.
Thanks so much for reading my little tale on exams and stress – may you take something from this that serves you in the future.
Yours in health,