Stress-free stress relief

By Laura Zima

“Are you still watching?” Netflix asked me at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 26.

That morning, I had taken my first test this semester, and it was one of those rare afternoons in the life of a medical student where I had nothing to do. Yet when that simple question popped up on my screen, I still felt a sense of guilt.

Laura Zima

Laura Zima

Sure, I had no material from that day to go over, but should I be working on my ultrasound course? Should I have planned a trip to my preceptor? Or maybe I should be at the gym or visiting my grandma — “healthy” stress relief activities.

“Mind Your Mind” week had just finished, and I began to think about what it meant to me to take care of myself — and watching Netflix alone for five hours wasn’t exactly at the top of that list. However, snuggling in my bed with my cat and not a care in the world seemed to be exactly what I needed at that moment.

Being in a professional studies program, there is a lot of pressure to get good grades, do volunteer activities, and do research projects. Was it possible I was even starting to feel some pressure to relieve stress in the “best” way? Taking care of yourself and your mental health is different for every individual, and even for each person, it may not mean the same thing every day.

Today, what I needed was to watch TV. Tomorrow, maybe it will feel good to go for a run or to cook dinner with friends. And that is alright.

So the answer is, “Yes, Netflix, I am 100 percent still watching. And there is nothing wrong with that.”


  1. Anne Rivas says:

    What a wonderful, healthy perspective! This is just what I want to see in my health care providers.

  2. marcia says:

    Perfect…. well said Laura

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