Veterinary Medicine and the Importance of Self-Care

Self-Care isn’t a new idea, in fact this notion of taking care of oneself has gone from being scoffed at as unnecessary frill, to now being considered by health professionals as a necessary part of mental health. Veterinary medicine may be an incredibly rewarding field, but it can also be very stressful and due to the nature of the work, sometimes there isn’t a lot of time for self-care.  

Here are 7 ways to implement self-care into your daily life to help ease your stress and take care of yourself:

  1. Use your vacation days. They are there for a reason. Even if you don’t go anywhere, physically leaving work and creating space from your job helps avoid burnout and promote a healthy work-life balance. 
  2. Laugh more. They say laughter is the best medicine and for good reason- laughter releases endorphins and those help with mental health. 
  3. Get your body moving. This can be as simple as a walk, taking a yoga class or riding a bike. If you’re more adventurous, take a hike or start training for a race! Just get out and go!
  4. Start a gratitude journal. Write down three things you’re grateful for each day, so when you have a challenging day you can look back though the entries and remember all of the previous entries and reflect on the good things.
  5. Limit screen time. We’ve all heard this, but this is important especially when it comes to mental health. There are apps that can help with this if you aren’t sure where to begin. The best time to curb screen time is the hour before bed. It will help you get a more restful night of sleep. 
  6. Find a hobby you enjoy. This could be crafting, fishing, running, playing music- anything really, and lean into that when you have had a difficult day. Sometimes giving your mind a break from your day is incredibly helpful.
  7. Be kind to yourself. Studies have shown that people that say daily affirmations and have a more positive attitude about themselves have more encouraging thoughts during the day. 
  8. Talk to a professional. Therapists are wonderful and they are trained to help provide support for you in the very areas you need it. They provide a space for you to process and help you work through those tough days without the fear of burdening friends and family. 

Although self-care may look different for everyone, it is equally important for everyone. What is your go-to stress reliever from the list above? We encourage you and the rest of your co-workers to practice self-care daily to work towards a happier and healthier future. Don't forget, sometimes, the best form of self-care is to find a new job. If your job isn't giving you the ability to de-stress, or if you're feeling burned out, consider searching for a new position. You can find veterinary clinic jobs on our website. Create a login to post your resume.