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Blog, Mental Health, Positivity, Uncategorized, Veterinary, Well-being

Sharing is caring: how some veterinary professionals find their ‘happy’ on tough days

I recently asked my colleagues and ‘vetty’ friends to share with us some things they do to increase their happiness during or after a rough day, and they did not disappoint! Unsurprisingly, it turns out we are quite a similar bunch, and we seem to appreciate how important it is for our own sanity to find the good in the bad.

Needless to say that for me, yoga and meditation are especially helpful for breathing those bad days away. However, it is my wonderful support network of friends, family, and colleagues, who can help me to feel better and find the strength for the next day following a bad one. I appreciate you all!

How do YOU find happy?

We love our pets and patients…

‘My dog! If he’s at work with me, seeing him being a hussy sitting on colleagues’ laps in the staff room, or if he’s not then sniffing me and greeting me with kisses when I get home.” – Jade S, Vet, UK.

“Cuddling my own cats when I get home. If I’m stuck at work, sometimes I’ll find a friendly inpatient cat for a 2 minute cuddle. It definitely diffuses me if I’m riled up.” – Hannah V, Vet, UK.

“Cuddles or a quick walk with my dog between calls used to help a lot. Also, a cup of tea and a laugh with my team always puts a smile on my face!” – Emma S, Industry Vet, UK.

Cuddle with a dog
Our pets are our therapists

“A cup of tea/coffee, and a cat cuddle (mine or an inpatient depending on where I am). Kitties always help!” – Emma W, Vet, UK.

“Sitting in a kennel either hand-feeding or cuddling the dogs there. Plus, laughing with colleagues.” – Dana F, Vet Nurse, UK.

We like to get fresh…

“A 20 minute walk by myself in the fresh air, with, or without, music, depending on the day.” – Miriam C, Vet, UK/Italy.

“Getting outside for a walk during the working day, even if it’s just for 5 minutes.” – Cath S, Non-Practicing Vet/PhD student, UK.

“Going out and eating/drinking something I don’t normally have, but love.” Christina P, former Vet Tech/now DVM student, US/Canada.

There are a lot of commonaliTEAS…

“A cup of tea and a 10 minute reset before continuing, ideally with cake!” -Nicky M, Vet, UK.

“Is it tea you’re looking for?” – Kate W, Vet, UK.

art beverage black and white breakfast
Still steaming hot, so we know it wasn’t taken at a vet clinic!

“A cup of tea, and my nurses having my back and being there for a hug.” – Hannah L, Industry Vet, UK.

“A cup of tea, a bit of cake, and 5 minutes of looking at memes sent by a friend, usually sorts me out.” – Jay D, Vet, UK/NZ.

Supporting each other is vital…

“Support from my team in various forms; someone to talk to, someone to share the load (emotionally and physically). Feeling like I am not alone.” – Ru T, Vet, UK.

“Sharing the stress with someone who is able to support you.” – Valentina M, Vet, UK/Italy.

“Silly messages during the day from friends.” – Hannah B, Vet, UK.

“Laughter with colleagues, and supporting/praising each other; knowing you have the support of a lovely, friendly team. You miss it when it’s gone!” – Rosie B, Animal Nursing Assistant, UK.

“Socialising with colleagues outside of work. Debriefing the day with like-minded people, and a glass of wine!” – Steph M, Vet Nurse, Australia.

H2O pathology suits
I can count on my vet school friends to understand, support me, and make me laugh!

Music therapy...

“Singing the air out of my lungs in the car on the way home. If I can hear myself howling over the music then it is not loud enough!” – Leanne P, Vet Nurse, UK.

“Having a good sing-along in the car (to angry music, if needs be!) and then a nice hot bath at the end of the day.” – Hayley H, Vet, UK.

“Very loud music on the way home, preferably heavy metal!” – Clare F, Receptionist, UK.

Appreciation from clients…

“A ‘Thank You’ from a client. Recognition can be so sparse in our industry!” – Cerrie S, Vet, UK.

“Nice feedback from clients and colleagues. Snacks and wine.” – Bille F, Vet Nurse, NZ.

“Seeing one client on the list whom you know is going to have a good chat with you, or is bringing an animal in you’ve been through difficult times with, but is now just coming in for a booster.” – Nick B, Vet, UK.

“I keep all of my ‘Thank You’ cards. A quick read through them on a tough day always reminds me of how much our work means to people.” – Gemma O, Vet, UK.

affection appreciation decoration design
It’s nice to be appreciated, and to appreciate each other

A bit of positive thinking goes a long way…

“Thinking that if it’s awful then it can’t get much worse, but it can get better! Tomorrow is another day! Also, lunch. Food makes everything better.” – Hela S, Vet, UK/Poland.

Thank you so much to all of these lovely people for sharing their happiness hits! See if there’s any you can relate to, and feel free to add your own in the comments.

To see how these tips compare with scientifically-proven ways to make you feel better, check out 7 Ways to Improve a Bad Day in Veterinary Practice or if you still need a little lift The A to Z of Veterinary Gratitude might help you to turn that frown upside down!

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