Cassie Majestic, MD is a chief resident at UC Irvine’s emergency medicine program. Dr. Majestic focuses on educating her peers and the general public on health and wellness principles. Dr. Majestic also has a successful Instagram account (@dr.majestic_md) that documents her life both in and out of the ER – with an aim to give her followers health & wellness tips (even sharing real-life snap shots from the ER). We were lucky enough to grab some time with Dr. Majestic to ask her some questions on fitness and healthy living.
How are you able to find balance between your demanding profession and personal health & fitness?
Work obviously has to be a priority for me. It took me a while to realize that fitness could be a priority too despite my busy schedule; I just have to be very creative!
There are three principles that I live by on a regular basis: always take the stairs, core work can be done anywhere… literally anywhere, and everything in moderation.
Incorporating fitness into my routine is not be the easiest thing, and there are days when I literally don’t have time to do so. I have accepted that and instead of beating myself up about it, I focus on putting in more quality time on my days off. One of my mottos is “quality over quantity”. I used to obsess about the number of minutes or hours I spent working out, studying, etc. Now, I have learned to focus more on quality workouts or learning, even if that means less actual time spent doing these activities.
Do you have any go-to efficient workouts or specific exercises?
Speaking of quality over quantity, my favorite go-to efficient workout is a HIIT (high intensity interval training) routine. I typically do a combination of squats and lunges with bursts of cardio intervals in rapid succession. This allows me to get through my workout quickly and still burn tons of calories. I have a real love for barre classes though, and I do it as much as possible on my days off, since the classes are usually an hour. I love to focus on my core muscles, as I was a dancer in the past, and I always feel so strong doing any exercises when my core is in shape.
You work in one of most stress-filled environments (the ER), do you have tips for stress management and for coping with tough situations?
My philosophy on stress management centers around preparation and confidence. In the Emergency Department, when tension is high and appropriate decision making is critical, I have to revert back to the many hours I spent training for this job, because emotional decision making is typically not helpful. Especially when managing a very stressful job, it is important to positively reinforce any negative thoughts that creep into the mind. Coping with tough situations can be helped by debriefing the stressful scenario and analyzing what you would’ve changed or done better. I have seen the most issues with stress affecting mental well-being, when people beat themselves up and dwell on mistakes they have made. Life is a learning process! I had those depressed days when I felt like I could never be successful. I now try and cut myself the most slack possible and use preparation as my method for avoiding overly stressful situations in the first place.
What do you believe are the key components to living a healthy and happy lifestyle?
I think the key to living a happy and healthy lifestyle includes knowing yourself, knowing what makes you happy, and making time for those things no matter what the circumstances. Believing in yourself is half the battle, and maintaining a positive attitude makes all the difference. You may not be able to change the negativity in the world, but you can always change your perception of the world. I have found that doing this makes me so much happier on a daily basis.
On to a lighter topic, we dig your sense of style. What are 3 accessories that you can’t live without?
I cannot live without a good, sturdy hair tie for my crazy mane, colorful and inspiring socks (I wear my barre socks to work all of the time), and a fabulous pair of stud earrings. There isn’t much room for accessorizing when your uniform consists of scrubs, but these three things always liven up my scrub attire!
Check out Cassie’s pick from simplyWORKOUT.