Welcome to the next Balanced Interview with my blogging friend The Frugal Physician! This woman is an inspiration to all who have a significant debt to pay off. She is known for conquering over $100,000 in student loan debt over a period of 6 months by mindfully changing lifestyle habits. This resulted in a significant decrease in stress for her and her family. Read on to learn more about her!
In a few sentences, tell us about yourself (age, job, family, hometown, etc.)
Hi, Thanks for having me on here! I’m Dr. D. I’m a 33 year old Internal Medicine certified primary care doc who lives in Upstate New York. I’m married and I have 4 kids (2 dogs and 2 toddler boys). I’m Indian by birth, southerner by raising, and a recent transplant to the Northeast.
What is one thing you’re passionate about (a thing you’re loving, something you would still do even if no one paid you/even if you have limited time, or a hobby you really care about)?
My problem is that I’m passionate about way too many things! I love my kids and am passionate about raising them right. I love my practice of medicine. I’m really passionate about Jazz music or music in general. I also love helping people through my blog.
What does balance mean to you (how do you find balance between work, home, community, and self?
Just like the physical act of balancing on a tightrope, I think balancing life takes active effort every single day. I find myself getting out of balance often, but I try to correct it and stay on the rope as best I can. Inertia is the enemy. Sometimes I get overtaken by momentum in one direction or another, and I fall off the rope. But, I always try to get back on. Active effort, self awareness, and mindfulness keep me on track.
Have you experienced any tradeoffs in your practice of balance?
Sure. I am currently on a mission to get rid of my student loans. I work a full time job currently. But, if I let my rat brain take over, I’d pick up more shifts on the weekend to really knock the loans down fast. But, the time I have with my kids is really important to me. So I decided to cut back my spending instead.
Describe your perfect “average” day. (How does your everyday day flow if everything goes well)?
Get up early and exercise. Then, have a fulfilling day at the clinic helping people and making a difference for them. Come home with enough energy to spend quality time with my family and really be present for them. Write a little and unwind with my hubby at the end of the day.
What are your go-to tools for self-care?
Exercise, yoga, and meditation. Cooking is also my therapy.
What is one morning routine you do that keeps you grounded and happy?
It’s weird but I love starting my day listening to podcasts. Recently, they have been financial. I listen while I’m getting ready. It’s a really great way to get “my mind in the game” and keep things in perspective by getting positive people in my life early in the morning.
Any decisions you’ve made that have negatively impacted your balance? If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I tend to take on a lot. Becoming a physician was obviously going to make family life hard. I switched from hospitalist to primary care and suddenly had a lot more free time. So, I decided to start a blog. That quickly threw me off balance again. I’m finding balance now by getting ahead on my posts so it’s not so stressful. If I had to do anything differently, I’d try to be more present for my spouse and listen to him more every day that I was too busy or overwhelmed or tired, or whatever.
What is one habit, tool, or item you’ve brought into your life within the last 6 months that has helped with your practice of balance?
I started bringing lunch to work, eating it around 10:30am and exercising during my lunch break. I find that I’m ravenous around 10:30am and eating then really makes my day better. Then, I can get my workout in and not have to stress about that for the rest of the day.
How can people contact you if they want to know more?
I blog at www.thefrugalphysician.com. You can follow me on Facebook @TheFrugalPhysician, Twitter @frugalphysician or on Instagram @frugalphysician.
Dr. D is truly demonstrates what it means to be mindful. She assesses her balance every day and is focused on habits to keep her there. When something seems off for her, she recognizes it quickly and adjusts. I relate very much to her practice of daily habits, gaining inspiration from the stories of others (through podcasts, blogs, etc.), and the need to eat lunch early (fellow early eater here)! I hope you identified with some of her methods for maintaining balance as well. Thanks for reading!