Self Love During the Month of Love
Written by: Nora Galoustian
Edited by: Tatyana Brisard
Taking in a deep and slow inhale, I hold my breath for as long as I can. With every exhale, I make the conscious effort to allow any negativity and frustration to leave my body. I repeat this for a few minutes, sitting carefully poised on the floor of my bedroom with my eyes shut. What do you do to ground yourself?
As a pre-medical student, it is rather easy to get caught up with comparing yourself to classmates and being overly critical of yourself. With the rampant glorification of unhealthy habits in pre-medical culture such as sleep deprivation, excessive coffee consumption, and overexertion, many of my peers and I feel guilty when engaging in fun activities rather than studying. “It’s odd, ever since I have been home from school this winter break, I am constantly anxious that I’m forgetting to do something and feel like I need to study for something!” exclaimed one of my close friends, despite not having any coursework assigned over break. From the constant pressure from some students to know about your grades to the students who brag about how “easy” the exam was and that they barely studied, it is hard to know where to place yourself in the wide spectrum of what composes the pre-medical student population.
Indeed, many individuals do indulge in the aforementioned unhealthy habits— too often, students are falling asleep on their books and walking to class with bags underneath their eyes. However, the sobering reality is that research studies show this unhealthy behavior of sleep deprivation is not only poor for your health but it also inhibits your academic achievement. While the constant pressure to succeed and the competitive nature of how final grades are determined in classrooms can be overwhelming, it is important to take care of yourself and to love yourself!
This may seem like an obvious statement at a glance, but the deep self-reflection of how this type of environment may influence your mental, spiritual, and physical health is critical. The truth is, everyone has their own individual strengths and weaknesses, and comparing yourself to others puts you in a toxic mindset that will set you up for failure. Instead of comparing yourself to others, help empower those around you by spreading the love. The shift in mentality from overworking yourself to focusing on transforming yourself through an optimistic mindset can elicit life-changing habits. I wanted to share the ways in which I learned to manage stress and love myself. While the path to self-discovery and healing was a difficult one for me, learning to leverage my inner strength to permeate a healthy mindset into my everyday lifestyle truly helped me overcome many difficulties I was facing (both academically and with life satisfaction). However, it is important to know that this is a constant process and lifestyle, not a temporary habit change until reaching a “final destination”. I understand that this is an extremely personal topic, but AMWA hopes that this can help someone out there reading!
Ways to Love Yourself
- Build your confidence. Build the self, your self. Discover new parts of yourself you have never seen before. Spiritually, physically, and mentally transform.
- Your mind and body are your temple. Treat them sacredly.
- You are your own source. Seek support from within yourself, and find the strength from within yourself. It is easy to instinctively go to others, and while this is healthy to do so to an extent, it is also important to learn how to be there for yourself.
- Change takes time, and understanding a concept fully takes time. Take a deep breath and continue on. You will get the results you’re longing for eventually.
- Give yourself 5 positive affirmations for the next day before you go to bed. This will help you sleep with eager and positive thoughts in mind.
- Give yourself 5 positive affirmations every morning before you start your day, especially before big exams or important events. This helps you build your confidence and feel great about the brilliant day you’re about to have!
- When things don’t go according to plan, find your escape. This could be any activity, from exercising and meditation to coloring books and unwinding in a hot bath. This too shall pass. Find ways that you can improve for next time, and try again!
Self Development and Stress Management
- If you tend to overwork yourself, don’t feel guilty to also have fun! It is a perfectly human thing to do— you really won’t be that much more productive staying home those 3-4 hours studying when you’re that mentally exhausted anyways.
- Do not freak out when something you haven’t seen before is on your exam. You got this! The professor gave you this question because the tools to learning how to tackle this problem were given to you. Take your time with the question, and try not to immediately panic when you see questions like this because it will inhibit your ability to think critically and solve the problem.
- Participate in random acts of kindness to your loved ones, roommates, and even strangers! The world is a beautiful place full of billions of people, and it feels good to help make it a little better for someone by doing something small.
- Mindset is everything; believe in your mental abilities, and you are more than halfway there!
Check back soon for our next blog post and if any of you have suggestions for future posts or any topics that you want to see written about, then make sure to email firstname.lastname@example.org!