“When I started medical school, I developed a new passion for weight lifting. Seeing the progress I have made in less than a year and feeling stronger has made me love going to the gym every day. Weight lifting helps me escape the stressors of medical school and fortifies my mind to continue to perform academically. Cooking healthy meals has also been another way to help me wind down and make sure my body is receiving the right fuel. However, even with all of that, I was still unhappy.
I used to have a different perspective on mental health and felt the stigma of admitting that I was not in the best state of mind which made it difficult to accept that I too needed help. Externally, I was an outgoing girl who could do it all and was seemingly always happy. The thing is, anxiety/depression looks like you and me, it is everywhere in all forms and all personalities. The overwhelming anxiety and constant irrational thoughts about failing led me to seek guidance. With the help of a mental health counselor, I have learned how to apply healthier methods of coping with my anxiety when approaching schoolwork as well as everyday life.
#withoutthewhitecoat I continuously strive for not just my physical wellbeing, but also that of my mental state. I want to set an example to fellow medical students, future patients, family and friends that you can have a healthy work-life balance and should be cognizant of your mental health as well.”
Stephanie de la Guarda
DO Candidate | Class of 2022