Today is a celebration! Not only is it my very first blog post, but it’s also the day after my last 30 hour call in the ICU (at least for the next month or so)! This was my first ICU “block” as an upper-level resident. I survived it, but I will tell you that however terrible you are imaging that it must be to work for 30 straight hours… it is worse. Especially when you are alone in the middle of the night managing VERY sick patients and you don’t realize you tucked your scrub top into your underwear and you accidentally put your hand in somone’s pee and you can’t see through the contact lenses you put in 19 hours ago. Code Blue! Ah!
I would say that the main components of a healthy lifestyle and happiness are diet, exercise, and sleep. It is near impossible to do any of those during a thirty hour shift. I’m sure many other people work odd or less than ideal hours, and it’s one of the main excuses I hear for less than healthy habits. Here are a few things I did in the last 30 hours to combat this the best I could:
1. Pack my meals. This way I can wake up at the last possible moment the day of my shift and I don’t have any excuse to go to the cafeteria for curly fries (although I would be lying if I said I didn’t do that last week). Last night my arsenal included veggies with hummus, a broccoli slaw salad (broccoli slaw, sunflower seeds, cranberries, and feta cheese), apples, peaches, greek yogurt, odwalla bars, popcorn, and some quinoa bites (below) I made the night before. I try to bring things I can eat quickly or while doing other work, but still pack some protein, fiber, and/or energy to keep me going!
Quinoa Pizza Bites – recipe soon!
2. Take the stairs. I try to NEVER take the elevator. Make it a rule. If I have some downtime, I even go up and down just to get the blood pumping (CRaZy, right?!).
3. Drink H2O. Dehydration is the easiest way to make yourself tired and irritable. I am not a good water drinker, but I do love myself a straw. I just put the water in front of me with the straw in my mouth. You don’t even have to stop typing to be able to take a sip!
Even mild dehydration can cause decreased oxygen supply to your muscles and brain. This study shows that even losing less than 3% of your total body water can cause worsening of your mood, the perception that tasks are more difficult, lower concentration, and headache symptoms.
4. Planning ahead. I know I’ll be tired when I finally get home, but I don’t want to just lay in bed all day and miss a work out. So I tell myself exactly what workout I’ll do that day and I lay out an outfit beside my bed. When my naptime alarm goes off, I see it and it helps me get up and at ‘em!
5. Bring a toothbrush. It’s just necessary. And I guess dental health is important too!