Decide what is most important to you professionally, socially, spiritually and creatively.

Studies have found that people who develop a personal philosophy or specific “approach-to-life” strategies tend to experience a greater sense of well-being than people using other “wellness promotion” techniques.  Once you have a clear sense of what you value, it is easier to accept your limitations. You can’t do everything, so you have to ask yourself, “What am I willing to give up to get what’s most important?” Emotional balance can also be difficult to achieve during residency. Each day, you face intense emotions while dealing with patients’ suffering and death. Add in your own anxieties about competence, and it’s no wonder that some residents withdraw and shy away from all forms of emotional involvement. From a personal standpoint, relationships and mental health may suffer. From a professional perspective, residents’ ability to practice compassionately may also diminish. Writing in a journal or meditating daily can help you better process new experiences and knowledge, which can help relieve stress and enhance your ability to learn. “Take 10 minutes to quickly review the day, and in a nonjudgmental way reflect on how you responded to events,” Dr. Christensen suggested. “Center yourself and look for guidance for the next day.”