Thoughts on placement year – Part 3: self-care

Placement year could be tough, as you are constantly being monitored, assessed and learning. You might find the workplace different from what you imagine, and the busy environment may stress you up. You might feel alone especially when your friends and you are being placed in different parts of the country, you are not able to meet them often. In this blog, I am going to share my experience and tips on stress handling.

Discuss with the team

It may be hard for you to open up to the placement provider/the team, but it is always good to let them know what you feel. During my placement, we have weekly reviews, which allows me to raise any concerns to the team. And they often respond to my worries and adjust the timetable which allows me to have a better placement experience.

Walks after work

During placement, I work Monday to Friday 8 am to 4 pm. After long hours of staying indoors, I often go out for walks after work. It could be a 30minutes walk to buy groceries for the week. Or an hour walks without a destination, just enjoying myself. To me, this is one of the best ways to de-stress: when I walk or jog, I tend to put down all the worries or problems during work. I think it helps me to maintain a good work-life balance.

Peer support

I found it extremely important to stay connected with your friends. Having regular gatherings or phone calls could make a difference. Every time after chatting with my friends, I feel so relieved. These catch-ups just help me to re-charge and move forward. 

Meditation

This has become my recent evening routine and I found this is one of the best ways to maintain self-care. Usually, an hour before bedtime, I will turn off all other notifications, go for a soft piano playlist, have a cup of hot tea, and basically, just keep my mind blank, focus on my breaths, and relax. Sometimes, I will do some simple yoga or stretching just allows my body to relax as well. I found it very useful to keep my stress or thoughts away, and I could generally have a better sleep afterwards.

Remember, always prioritise your mental state whilst on placement. And hope you find the above destress and self-care tips useful.