The work of a veterinary doctor can be demanding and difficult – not only physically, but above all emotionally. That is why efficient relax is so important! Only such approach of balanced life has the chance to save veterinary practitioners from burnout and let doctors to help animals and their owners.
Why is relax so important for a Veterinary doctor?
The day-to-day work of treating animals is demanding and aggravating, to the extent that veterinary doctors are increasingly at risk of burn-out, even more than their medical colleagues in the field of treating people [source: Brenda L. Lovell and Raymond T. Lee, Burnout and health promotion in veterinary medicine,The Canadian Veterinary Journal, 2013]. Burnout receives joy and satisfaction from work and beyond, hindering the performance of daily duties. It can also affect mental well-being and in extreme cases lead to depression. To prevent this, it is worth remembering what was the reason for choosing this career path and whether it is still valid for us. It is also worth remembering what you like the most in this work, and derive from it joy.
Give yourself permission to rest
Your task list, despite systematically highlighting the next points, seems to be endless? That’s the way it is – there’s always something else to do. All patients taken care of? It would be useful to work on materials on the clinic’s fanpage. Invented posts and articles? An inventory would have to be made. After inventory – be sure to fill in the gaps. Just a phone call to the accountant … And reading trade articles? Thinking about applying the knowledge gained from the last course …? And pick up the children from school. Do shopping! ABOUT! another patient! Over and over again. The diversity and unpredictability of work, which many veterinarians value so much, but also the need to combine professional duties with private life can also be a source of fatigue.
Many doctors are seen as perfectionists who think that no one will do “this” better than they do. Some say they don’t “deserve” rest before everything is done. It’s a simple way to get tired. And with prolonged fatigue and additional emerging difficulties, it can lead to dissatisfaction with yourself and / or work. That is why it is so important to give yourself the right to rest. Give yourself the right to relax, even when the task list is not empty. Fatigue affects us negatively – we associate facts worse, we have less patience with our clients and unfortunately we can make mistakes then.
Remember to rest with both body and head. Lying on a sun lounger, if your mind is galloping through lists of tasks, is a poor rest.
What to do to rest?
Just as our pupils are different, so are we. At rest, there is no one, simple prescription for a drug that has the same effect on everyone. So find your way to rest adequate to your temperament and needs. It may be that your body yearns for peace and quiet – it is often difficult to see them throughout the day at the clinic. You can find them in different places and circumstances. Maybe a walk in the woods? Maybe a lonely or with a close person a run in the forest. Or maybe reading a good book with a cup of aromatic coffee or tea? Check what can bring you peace of mind.
Or maybe you feel the opposite and need contact with people who do not come to you solely with the problems of their pupils? Look for relaxation while talking to a friend or during a carefree meeting with friends. Many people relax perfectly during various activities. Moderate sport is great for your well-being and for getting rid of accumulated tension.
Another method of relaxation can be contact with art – both the works of others, but also your own creation – painting, photography, or maybe creative writing? There are many methods, it is important that the one you choose gives you joy and not frustration.
As with prescription drugs, think about the best dosage for you. Several dozen kilometres on the bike once a week? Is a daily quarter of meditation? There is not the only right way – but it is perfect for you. Think about what is best for you, plan and implement it.
Listen to your needs and write a prescription for relax
Family, loved ones, friends – take care of relationships with people
Work is vital, but living outside work is also important. Take care of relationships and valuable time with family, loved ones and friends. Relations as fuels need time, presence and shared experiences. It is very easy, despite living under one roof, to start to part with your loved ones and not be aware of their worries, giving yourself very much time and energy to ensure good living conditions for the family. Over 80 years of research at Harvard University students have shown that relationships are more important to health and life satisfaction than money or success.
Make changes in small steps
Sometimes you tempted to quit everything and go to the Mountains, but common sense suggests that this is a rather unrealistic solution. In our culture, the vision of the romantic, cottage somewhere in mountains is an idyll and closeness to nature is rooted, and this desire to escape results from the dream that in such idyllic conditions you will finally find peace, because it seems impossible to experience it in the place where we are today.
However, it is worth opening up to the strength of small changes and small steps. If until now rest has been at the gray end of priorities, it will be hard to suddenly find an hour a day (or at least a quarter?), Or a few hours a week.
It is worth making changes so small that there is no resistance to them. Both resistance in us and in our environment. And stick to this new habit of taking care of yourself.
Make small changes, which makes difference. Preferably everyday.