Lacking motivation ... but can't relax

Hi Everyone, 

I have my test date around the corner (August) and some days I. Just. Can't.... I don't want to study or even look at a question but my head is swimming with all the things I need to do. I can't even seem to turn my brain off... Any tips on combating this combo? What do y'all do to relax? 


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    Hi Danish!

    This is something that I've definitely felt before too, and what I've found works best for me almost feels paradoxical. What has worked for me is setting some sort of goal for myself outside of med school. I've done this mostly with running, but so many other things could also work. Although it seems like it would take time away from the main thing you need to prep for, it helped me prioritize my time better. I knew that I was going to spend some portion of my day running, which meant that during that other part of the day, I really needed to focus on my work. It made the time I actually spent studying far more productive. It also just gave my brain a break and helped clear my head. I know people do things similar with cooking/baking or reading or plenty of other things. But whatever you choose, make it a clear goal (run 3 miles every other day, cook dinner 4 nights a week, read a book one hour every day) and that will go a long way to sticking with it. 

    Hope this helps some! I'm sure others have plenty of good ideas as well. Good luck in August!

    - Andrew

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    Danish, I get where you're coming from. Dedicated study periods can be rough, and trying to push through everyday even when your gains can feel slow. All your hard work and sacrifice will be all worth it in the end!

    Big questions: What are some things you enjoyed before your dedicated study period? Did they help you de-stress and do you have time each week to do this activity still?

    Some things that helped me in dedicated study periods included exercise, eating yummy food, wearing makeup even when I was staying at home, zoom studying with friends, and calling my family/friends weekly.

    Good luck in August! :)

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    I felt similarly during the final stages of my studying. One thing that helped was taking a full day off and doing all non-school activities. I went on a walk around a long forest preserve with my family, cooked a nice dinner, watched a movie. This is just what I did - you can do anything that might distract or relax you.
    Also, when I felt really unmotivated or drained during the days when I was studying a lot, I'd take more frequent short breaks. This helped just break the monotony and kept me a little more focused.
    Ultimately, burnout and exhaustion are both incredibly normal, and you're definitely not alone in feeling this way. Take some time for yourself!! Hope this helps, and good luck :)

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    Hey Danish,
    I get in the same exact zone/mood you mention.  For being near the exam and needing many hours a day at this point. For the days you feel like doing nothing (aside from an off day), push your self to do at least 2 or 3 hours for that day. What I do is tell me self, " If I can't do even 3 hours rn, how would I ever be able to be on-call as a doc." 
    God's speed my friend.

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    When I am in that mood, I need to schedule my days.  The most important thing to do is schedule a day to relax.  I plan out a workout, which movies I am going to watch, what I am going to eat and I do it. If you just sit around on your relax day with no plans, you will just sit and worry.  Then make a schedule for your study days and stick to it.  Always schedule in some type of exercise or activity on your study day.  If don't have a plan on what to study or how many questions you are getting done that day, you will just sit there and worry that you aren't doing enough to the point where you become so sad that you are just a slug.  Make a schedule using your favorite resources and stick to it.  You've got this.  We have all been there.

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    I made it a goal to do one thing for myself each day of dedicated whether that was a 5 minute meditation, 10minutes of listening to hype music, 30minutes of trying out a new recipe or 1 hour hitting the weights. This put me in a great mood, making me ready to tackle the day! Not every day is perfect but aim to make today better than yesterday.


    ~~Best of luck! Cheers!

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    hey there! 
    That feeling is all too familiar. Personally what i did was do a minimal amount of work on those days. And i mean minimal. So only a handful of questions, or read one or two articles and thats it. Be as strict about limiting your studying as you are about setting studying goals.  Having done a little bit of work helped calm me down a little and allowed me to get through a rest day. I usually put my energy into something else so a hike, a run, or dinner out with friends. That helped keep my mind busy enough, but with things not medicine related. 
    sending lots of light and wishes for good luck!

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