February 6, 2023

How To Practice Self-Care as a Veterinary Professional

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In a hectic world, professional work and personal life balance is key to one’s comprehensive well-being. Is this achievable for every individual? As humans, we cannot control external factors. But we can control how we choose to react to situations—and how we take care of our minds and bodies throughout our daily routines.

As a veterinary professional, you have a rewarding career of caring for animals. However, your demanding work as a caregiver should never place you on the backburner. Veterinarians face a plethora of stressors and challenges on a daily basis, leading to feelings of anxiety, worry, grief, and vexation. Let’s take a closer look at a few key ways you can protease your health and safety. Here’s how to practice self-care as a veterinary professional.

Practice Mindfulness: Sit Down and Sit Still

Self-care is more than a mere buzzword for modern society. Think of the concept practically. More than likely, assessing your patient’s condition is second nature to you. But how often do you assess your own well-being? Logically, it would be unethical for care providers to not take proper care of themselves. Individuals must look out for themselves to be able to also look out for others.

Veterinarians and techs usually rushing through daily appointments and multi-task on autopilot. If that’s a picture of your daily routine, be sure to take a moment or two to sit down and stay still. This mindful break is a necessary recess to refresh and buffer your responses to stressful situations.

Practice Positivity: Focus on the Good Cases

Not every working day is a good day that passes by smoothly without hiccups or bumps in the road. How can you practice self-care as a veterinary professional when everything becomes bleak? Focusing on the good is not about forcing positivity, but rather not internalizing negativity. If you don’t give yourself the space to properly evaluate your success, the pressure to perform becomes normalized. The stressful and cheerless facets of the field shouldn’t cloud your jubilant wins. Home in on the good cases if you find yourself too involved with the negative aspects of your job.

Practice Prevention: Set Boundaries and Seek Solutions

Learning to set clear boundaries is an essential form of self-compassion. Fostering resilience and assertiveness sets respectable expectations for yourself and others. Much like knowing the guidelines of veterinary ergonomics, you need to look out for yourself through your conscious actions and decisions. Prevention strategies are telltale keys to lower the risks of injury, illness, or burnout.

Saying yes to what you need—and no to situations that you can’t mindfully commit to—is a win-win. You’ll be better rested, satisfied, and efficient in your performance as a care provider. Proper self-care provides the best care for your patients while keeping you safe and healthy in the workplace.

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