During this clinical rotation, my “weekend” is during the week instead of the traditional Saturday and Sunday. Clinicals happen any day because hospitals never close! Instead of spending the day in class, I spent a few hours in the sun hiking with roughly a gazillion insects.
I LOVE being outside. I’m like a little kid who counts the minutes to recess. The closer I got to the trail, the happier I got.
Why do I hike? Hiking is a meditation. A prayer. A physical work that calms and organizes thoughts. It provides a sense of completion and satisfaction. Being immersed in the green things and dirt connects me to something bigger than myself.
As a side note. Being in green spaces is a form of recognized therapy. I know, do we need a study to tell us going outside is therapeutic? Apparently so, because with evidence comes providers “prescribing” it to patients.
I allowed a slow start to my day, so optimal hiking hours grew shorter, and the temperature climbed. I chose a shorter 5.5-mile hike with a 1200ft elevation gain as my first act of self-care on my day off. The moderate hike got my heart pumping, worked my legs, sweated out stress, and freed my mind from anxious thoughts. Content and endorphins pulsed through me at the end of the trail. I wanted to continue but the rising heat of the day and UV intensity sent me to my car.
Sweaty and covered in grit and dust, I drove back to my school apartment with a lightness of spirit and a few insect bites.
I confirmed my therapy appointment as my second act of self-care. At 20 years old, during a period of night terrors and severe panic attacks, I found a therapist. Since then, therapy has been an integrated part of my life whenever I need it. Between appointments, there can be months or years, but it is always available.
Studying and doing the work of life presented few obstacles over the rest of my day.
I’m looking forward to seeing what tomorrow brings. Until then, please enjoy some wildflowers from my hike.