The veterinary environment is incredibly busy and can be highly stressful, and it is therefor so important to stay emotional balanced – and it is still very much attainable.
The Veterinarian obviously faces challenges within the work environment on a daily basis, simply due to the nature of the work involved. You have to think on your feet, deal with distressed owners and life threatening conditions. Work hours are also very long and if you are a rural vet then the workload is usually increased This is why emotional health and being emotionally balanced is incredibly important to both physical health and emotional wellbeing.
The work life balance
The real essence of achieving fulfilment within your work and personal life is to get the work life balance just right. This means prioritising your professional needs as well as your personal needs, such as family and recreational time. Fulfilment within both area of your life is key to emotional wellbeing.
Plan for the year ahead
Scheduling for time off throughout the year is a great strategy to get the work life balance just right and to achieve mental balance. Schedule time off for birthdays, anniversaries and meals out with the family. If you work weekends, make sure that you do get some weekends away from work and perhaps try a flexible work schedule with other colleagues.
Fulfilment at work
In order to achieve emotional health you need to feel fulfilled when working. A sense of pride, achievement and knowing that you do the best that you possibly can, all contribute to a balanced and emotional wellbeing.
Positive changes in the work environment
There are a number of things that you can do within the work environment so as to help with emotional balance. Making positive changes to the work environment can simply be those of leaving work ob time (or as near to time as possible) and having lunch somewhere other than the staff room. These subtle changes allow your mind to rest, to have a break and for you to have a change of scenery. All of which are good for mental health and can help you to unwind.
It is also very important that you leave your work ‘at work’. Veterinarians who have achieved emotionally balanced lives do leave their work life behind once they get home. This is incredibly important. Once the work door closes behind you take a deep breath and forget about what has happened. If you are on call then obviously this cannot be done, but at all other times you need to forget about work and focus on yourself and your family. Your personal needs now come first.
Positive changes at home
There are also many changes that can take place at home in order to create mental balance. Only open up emails a few times a day, when not on call leave your phone off and do something you really enjoy. This may be lunch out with the family, a walk along the beach or simply reading a good book. Whatever it is, whatever you do, do it for you
It is all so very easy to reach ‘burnout’ when in this profession, and so do everything that you can to promote a healthy lifestyle, a healthy body and improve mental wellbeing.