Tips to acquire good habits and improve the well-being of the clinical veterinarian

The work in the veterinary clinic can entail stressful situations that are sometimes difficult to handle. These circumstances can lead to increased stress for the veterinarian in their day-to-day lives. To help manage this condition, the veterinarian allan johnsonAfter experiencing what many veterinarians go through in their day-to-day life when she started working after graduating in 2018 from the Royal Veterinary College in London, she wanted to share some tips that have helped her establish good habits to improve her well-being.

“As a veterinarian, I have learned that everyone we can have days where we can feel completely exhausted, overworked and underappreciated by customers and our companions. Whether it’s having too much to do in too little time, trying to handle difficult cases where there are cost concerns, or just not feeling 100%, it can affect us.”

While it is unlikely that many stressful and tense situations of work can be completely eliminated, “there are several things we can do to reduce the impact of stressful situations that will improve our mental health and help us stay on a mental plane to address the challenges that come our way, such as creating healthy habits.”

The very definition of the word “habit” means “a tendency or regular practice that is difficult to give up.” Human beings establish innate habits to feel safe and in control when they repeatedly do something over and over again.

It is the loss of control in some situations within the profession that, in Johnson’s opinion, contributes significantly to job stress. “Unfortunately, surprise arrivals from our patients is inevitable, but if we start building a routine and good habits when we can be in control, we are much more likely to be able to handle uncertain situations that come our way.”

As the vet explains, Establishing good habits is essential for the well-being of the professional. “I get up at 05:00 every day of the week. I have a coffee, I go for a run or I go to the gym, I come home to walk my dog, I take a shower and then I’m at work by 08:30”.

Johnson claims that performing these routines before starting the workday is much more beneficial. “It would be easy to leave it for later, at the end of the workday, but it can often be the last thing you feel like doing after a long day at work.”

However, the most important thing that stands out is the investment of time in the personal leisure of each one, regardless of the time at which it is carried out. “We all need to find some time for ourselves, every day if possible, either 30 minutes to yourself undisturbed, time to practice yoga, read books or the paper, watch the news, walk your dog, whatever you want to do, you’ll be surprised at how much better you feel about it.”

But developing these good habits requires discipline and self-control. Therefore, to develop long-term habits, “I consider it important to regularly reward myself for maintaining them.” As he explains, rewarding oneself for maintaining these habits is essential, since this “positive reinforcement” reinforces these well-being behaviors. “In my house, this reinforcement is achieved with a good dinner and a mojito. It may sound extreme, but my friday night reward really gets me through the week”.

C.I think if we all had something to look forward to regularly, could help us overcome some really difficult moments, because no matter how bad the week has been, how many frustrating exchanges we have found, if we have a reward in the end.

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