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7 Tips To Help You Be The Best Version of Yourself

Being the best version of yourself is one of the hardest, yet easiest things in life. It’s hard because you need to take the steps to get there but it’s easy because once you do you will notice major improvements in your mindset. I’m definitely not a psychologist, doctor, or qualified professional to give you the exact steps to be your best self but I can offer some advice on the things I have done and tried.

1. Get enough sleep – As a medical student, I could go all nerdy on you with the details of sleep and its importance for our well-being, but that would be so boring. No one wants to talk about the hormones and neurons in our body and how sleep affects them. However, these are the exact reasons why sleep is so important for our well-being. While you sleep, your brain is forming new pathways and connections to help increase your memory. Not only this, but sleep deprivation has been shown to decrease the function of certain parts of the brain that are involved with decision making, attention span, and creativity. Sleep has so many positive benefits for physical health, emotional health and overall day-to-day function. So there you go… there are some perfect excuses for skipping that social event that you didn’t even want to go to in the first place to sleep more.

2. Eat right – “you’re not you when you’re hungry” -Snickers. Well, the saying is also true if you don’t eat right. Putting the right foods into your body is key. Not only are foods important, but SO IS WATER. Guys, there are trillions (not millions or billions… TRILLIONS) of cells in your body that perform the functions that keep you alive. Every single one of them NEEDS water to function. So all of those statistics that you see about drinking “half your body weight in ounces of water” or “you need to keep drinking water even before you become thirsty” are not there just to be annoying. Yeah, trust me, I get it. Drinking water can be a pain in the butt. Especially when you have a tiny bladder like me, and you’re constantly running to the bathroom every 10 minutes. But help your little friends (the cells) that are running the factory called “your body” with some nutrients. For me, drinking plain water can get really boring so one thing that helps me to get the amount of water I need per day is to add things to it. Some things you can add to your water are lemons, fruit, tea bags, Mio, etc.

3. Take at least one hour a day for yourself – Do something relaxing or something you enjoy. Maybe you have a favorite show on Netflix, or maybe you enjoy painting, writing, or drawing. Whatever it may be, give yourself time to do it. One of the most important things to keep yourself from burning out in work or school is to make sure you’re adding enjoyment to every day. Doing something fun to each day can decrease your stress level and give you the feeling of “Today was a good day!” Besides, it’s so boring to sit at home, work or school all day doing the same old “work stuff”. Put the books, computer, and paperwork down and take a mental break. You’ll be amazed at how rejuvenated and motivated you feel to go back and finish up your work.

4. Exercise – This one is so cliche but guys, it is so so true. I can tell you this first hand. I recently went on a hiatus from exercising; not on purpose, but because I got quite lazy and, in my defense, a lot busier. That is absolutely no excuse though. Not only did I put on some extra pounds that were not invited to the party, but I also felt terrible because I wasn’t getting any of the endorphins that come from exercising. No matter how much sleep I got the night before, I could not make it three hours without wanting to curl up

in bed and sleep for hours. Getting as little as 10 minutes of exercise a day can make a difference. One of the things my friends and I do on days when we’re too busy to get to the gym is to just take the stairs instead of the elevator. It might not seem like a big thing, but it can help you get your heart rate up.

5. Keep up your social life – Hang out with friends. Call friends/family from home. Don’t isolate yourself. Having people close to you that you love is such a comforting feeling. I think one of the best ways to relax after a few days of studying for an exam, working on a project, etc. is to hang out with my friends. Sometimes studying a lot can be a really isolating feeling, so following that up with social interaction can help to make you feel like a “normal human” again.

6. With #5 being said, don’t forget #3 – Make sure you aren’t spreading yourself too thin and neglecting to take time for yourself. Maintaining a balance between social life and me time is something I found to be really hard in college. When people are constantly doing things around you it can make you feel very pressured to join in on every activity for FOMO. The truth is, it’s okay to say no to social gatherings at times to give yourself some time to grow as an individual.

7. Give yourself some love! Even though this is #7 on the list… this is really #1. SHOW YOURSELF SOME LOVE. Taking the time to care for yourself and do the things that make you happy can help you to be the best version of yourself. This might not be the complete list that works for you, but by implementing at least one of these things into your life you might notice a change in mindset.

Maddy, who is originally from Minnesota, is a 3rd year medical student in the 6-year BA/MD program at UMKC (Class of 2022). In her free time, Maddy enjoys working out, binge watching Grey's Anatomy on Netflix, sleeping, cooking, listening to music, and doing spontaneous things with friends.
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