Key Term: Rest!
As often happens the moment I stopped, my body decided I had been pushing it too hard and got ill. I started the Christmas break with a massive cold which was a complete pain as I had a list of things to be doing over the two week break.
One of the hardest things I am finding as a student is getting the balance right; I love to be busy and give 100% to everything but this means when I'm on placement I tend to stay up later than I would normally doing background reading and trying to understand the theory behind the practical aspects; this means that come the end of placement weeks I am more run down.
Doing a health course is intense and when you have those blocks of practice placements, especially away from home, it is hard to rest as much as you should. This placement had the added aspect of being in a city affected by the recent floods, which meant there was more uncertainty and worry with regards to commuting to and from placement at weekends which for me meant I rested and relaxed less at weekends that I would have wanted. This topped with surviving on meals I could cook with a kettle in my hotel room and salads meant I was probably more run down than I had imagined.
You are probably wondering why I have rambled on about this somewhat, but the result was that it forced me to rest this Christmas break rather than working straight through trying to progress with assignments and prep.
A final thought...
How important are the structures in our life and day day living? I came across this picture on social media when during the week between Christmas and new year (It isn't the most politically correct picture and really just a bit of fun).
It strikes me that those days between Christmas and new year could in turn help us understand what it's like for people in hospital whose routines have been interrupted. How often do we ask cognitive orientation questions to our patients and wonder if them not knowing what day it was is a sign of cognitive impairment; when actually between Christmas and new year when our normal routine is taking away by holidays and changes to what we do throughout the normal week, do we all have the same issue?
Now back to the reality of coursework and assignments....
For more insight into my journey to become an occupational therapist; follow me on twitter: @OTontheTracks