Lisa Wehr's Public Health Blog

Lisa is originally from Sigourney, Iowa. She attended Iowa State University and received her bachelor’s degree in Music in 2010. She is currently a first year Master’s of Public Health (MPH) student in community and behavioral health (CBH). Lisa works on the medicine-psychiatry unit at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). Through this blog Lisa hopes to let people learn about the CBH department.

This student blog is unedited and does not necessarily reflect the views of the College of Public Health or the University of Iowa.

11 February 2011


I have been restraining my excitement and motivation regarding the blog. I have so many great thoughts I want to share with you all. And when I take a day to sit down and draft a bunch I can hardly keep from posting them all at once. Although it's slightly frustrating, it's even more exciting because I look forward to every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and choosing which post I get to put up that day!

My current queue is dwindling (down to like 5ish random posts), but never fear because I have a word document listing all the new ones I still want to write and this is my catching up weekend....which was (is) the intended topic of this post.

As much as I attempt to stay organized and on top of things, life still gets in the way from time to time and my system falls behind. This was one of those weeks. I worked this past weekend and had a hellish time. This included exhausting patients, a couple attempted punches, and getting off 2 hours late. Thus I didn't get much of a chance to do my typical weekend work. I didn't read my textbooks, I didn't get all my assigned articles read, and I didn't get to clean my house and backpack. I had Monday off and spent part of it catching up on sleep and baking for journal club. Tuesday I had class, meetings, and work from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 p.m.--with no break. So I got nothing done there. Wednesday had some appointments and class and Thursday had class, some breaks to play catch-up, and band rehearsal. And somewhere along the way I started to come down with another illness (I spent the first week of classes this semester incredibly sick).

So where do I stand overall? I have 3 chapters to read in one textbook, 4 in another, I need to go through my biostats notes (completely lost on a couple things), do my biostats homework, start writing a paper (apparently the middle of February snuck up on me!), and write a few more blog posts. This is in addition to my sadly neglected house, dog, and flute. I have the weekend off. I had to decline a visit to Ames to play catch up :( and I am gearing up to tackle it. I did pick up a few hours at work today, but not a whole shift.

In these times it is always tempting to start at the beginning and work until I'm up to what needs to be done for the coming week. But I've discovered that isn't always the smartest idea. As great as my intentions and motivation are I don't always get through everything on my list. Sometimes a life event happens, other times I just get burnt out. The best thing for me is to do the upcoming work first and then go back to the stuff I am behind on. If I start at the beginning of my list and don't get through it all I finish the marathon weekend still behind and my stress levels never change. If I at least have this week's work done then I don't spend the week stressing about where to fit it in before class, I just look for spaces to catch up on the back stuff.

And I try to keep it fresh throughout the weekend as well. Here's what helps me.

  • I work in shorter chunks and in different places (coffee shops, Hardin, nooks in the hospital). 
  • Lots of diet coke and coffee (deserving of their own food group)
  • Breaks with some fun things like a run with the dog
And what do I avoid?

  • TV. Seriously, who can watch just one episode of Family Guy?
  • Naps. They're addictive.
  • Spending all day in my pajamas. It makes it really hard to seriously work. 
  • Starting without a plan. If I finish one item and don't have the next one planned, it becomes really easy to while away an hour or two.
  • Internet surfing. We all know this one.
Wish me luck and I'll be back on Monday!

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