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"Just start somewhere."
   -Unknown

(And click "always show content from this sender," at the top of this email to see some great photographs featured in this newsletter!)
W e l l (n e s s)
THE JOURNAL OF THE UMSOM COMPLEMENTARY AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE INTEREST GROUP

 

Welcome!


We know you're busy, and the lectures aren't going to review themselves, but we hope this newsletter will inspire you to take a moment to excuse yourself from the rush of everyday life to pause, reflect, and breathe. Small acts add up. 

Thank you for stopping by CIMIG's brand-new Well(ness) Newsletter. CIMIG is a group of students committed to the idea that we live our best lives as physicians-in-training (and eventually as physicians!) if we prioritize our wellness: that to truly give our best to those around us, we must first put on our own oxygen masks. Our goal is to support this ideal as we pursue our dreams of becoming the best physician healers we can be. 

Looking forward to seeing, hearing and connecting with you! Feel free to send ideas and feedback on what YOU think is important to include.

 


With gratitude,
CIMIG

About our name... 
The word 'well' is defined and used in many ways. As an adverb, it can refer to an action done "in a kind or friendly manner," "with skill or aptitude," "satisfactorily," "with careful or close attention," "in a way appropriate to the circumstances," and "as one could wish." As people, not to mention as students, we are constantly striving to do well, live well, perform well, balance well: simply, to be well. It is empowering to realize that doing something well can mean a range of outcomes. As an adjective, 'well' is defined as "being in satisfactory condition," or "being a cause for thankfulness." When we are well, it is cause for gratitude. This is juxtaposed perfectly by the medical definition of 'wellness,' a noun meaning "the quality or state of being in good health, especially as an actively sought goal." It feels both useful and beautiful to gather these meanings together as we approach our daily pursuits of doing well, being well, and improving our wellness. Well(ness) reminds us that with intention and care, we can be well in many ways while pursuing wellness, and that our efforts might bring us closer to a better, more satisfactory outcome - perhaps even an outcome of gratitude - emotionally, academically, or physically. 

Photo: Sky from the Sign. Hollywood, CA. Taken by Sheena Patel, Class of 2020 

Tool of the week:
Mindfulness

Med school is its own flavor of stressful. Resiliency is the key to buffering the stress, but it can feel impossible to build resiliency while trying to stay afloat with lectures, shadowing, ICM, etc. Mindfulness meditation is an evidence-based tool for fostering a personal "bank account" of resiliency, and thus reduction of stress. 

Stated simply, mindfulness is the practice of developing purposeful, non-judgmental awareness of your experience, moment by moment. It can come from patiently sitting in lotus position for 30 minutes a day... or from bringing your attention to the sensation of hot water when you're taking a shower. There are many right ways to practice mindfulness; it's as varied as each of our T-cell receptors us. It just starts with bringing an open awareness to *whatever* it is you might be doing. Breathing, eating, studying - just start somewhere! 

Did you know? 
"80% of the 140 accredited medical schools or their associated universities in the United States presently incorporate MBIs (Mindfulness Based Interventions) into their treatment, education, and/or research programs."  
(Black, David S., and George M. Slavich, 2016)

"Mindfulness is especially suited to physicians, because it can help counteract the worrying, perfectionism and self-judgment that are so common among doctors."

To read more or take a mindfulness quiz (not graded!) please visit: https://wellmd.stanford.edu/healthy/mindfulness.html

Picture: Nature's Luck. Taken at Horseshoe Canyon, AZ by Sheena Patel, class of 2020


Wellness in Action

Simple ways to stay mindful while living the med student life.

Practice for the week:

Before opening up Endnote/PPT/Anki to begin studying for the day, focus your attention on your inhale, and then take 10 full, deep breaths. What small physical changes do you notice? Chest rising and falling, abdomen doing the same? Each time your attention strays, gently bring it back to notice the small changes happening as you inhale and exhale. 10 breaths, and check it off your to-do list! Consider getting a little "mindfulness journal" to write down what you're noticing.

Wellness and self-care are as varied and personal as each of us. There's no one way to do it. Here, we highlight a classmate and the tools they use to stay balanced. Want to share? Send it over! CIMIG.umb@gmail.com

Eryn Trauben, class of 2020:

CIMIG: First of all, your photo rocks. Second, how do you proactively tackle well(ness)?

Eryn: Many ways! It depends on the day and the week. Lately I have been listening to upbeat orchestral music on Pandora while I study (huge fan of my Yanni station that also plays a lot of Trans-Siberian Orchestra, as well as Celtic Radio). During study breaks, I’ll turn on the Zumba station and have a dance party. Lately I have also been using the Insight Timer app to help me relax before going to bed (recommended by the wonderful Zofia Kozak). It has many things including talks, guided meditation and music. I’m also a huge proponent for going to counseling. I go to the Student Counseling Center about every three weeks to discuss whatever it is that has been bothering me, any kind of stress or anxiety that I would like some help to work through. I find it immensely useful in helping me to re-frame my thoughts and tackle any perceptions I have that are inaccurate, unfair to myself or others, and not useful. I am perpetually working on being the best version of myself that I can be. That is not only as a student, but also as a person. My wellness comes from balance. Balance among school, pursing a variety of interests as much as possible, and maintaining meaningful connections with friends and family.

 

PHOTO OF THE WEEK:

Tatry mountain range, Poland. 

Have a beautiful photo? We want to feature it!

Email us with your favorite photo -- of the tree outside your house, a piece of graffiti that made you stop and pause, whatever it is -- we'd love to highlight it in our Photo of the Week! email to:
CIMIG.umb@gmail.com
 

Wellness at UMB:
Events and Programs


12SEP

Noon | SMC 349
Academic, interpersonal, and job pressures
can take their toll if you let them.

19SEP

Noon | SMC 349
As a student, school, work and family competes for your time,
and often it is easier to grab the fast food on the go,
or the late night takeout while you are studying.
Copyright © *|2017|* *|CIMIG|*, All rights reserved.


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