One of the most common challenges physicians face is living in a negative time zone. Professional demands are fierce and growing. And you likely have family demands as well. You may be a parent and/or the caregiver for aging parents. And maybe you even have a partner you have to attend to! Even if you are a single adult, you likely have almost no free time.

You probably don’t believe there is enough time in the day for you. My recommendation is that you begin to reclaim time, even if this means starting with 5 minutes a day. Make a commitment to spend 5 minutes EVERY DAY doing anything that makes you happy, provides a sense of calm, or recharges you. Possible activities include: reading a relaxing book, taking a walk, working on a hobby, playing a musical instrument, taking a bath, petting your dog or cat, gardening, savoring a cup of tea or a sweet treat, exercising, or just sitting quietly. Start by making a list of things you enjoy and give you energy.

3 activities that I enjoy and that give me energy are:
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Next, to make sure you actually take time for yourself, I recommend that you PUT YOURSELF ON YOUR SCHEDULE. Literally! Look at what’s on your schedule now. Surely, you are as important as these other activities! Sometimes, putting yourself in your calendars is this is the only way to actually start claiming the precious time you so desperately need. And, once you have gotten into the habit of taking 5 minutes every day, you can gradually titrate up the amount of time. You may find that you can take 30 minutes every day or even an hour…