Self-Care Tips to Sustain a Fulfilling Career

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Self-Care Tips to Sustain a Fulfilling Career

Some of the best and most effective ways to care for yourself involve bringing positive practices into your daily life. Here are some lifestyle changes that can lead to lasting benefits, both for your wellbeing and your career as a veterinarian:

  • DEVELOP A GRATITUDE PRACTICE: One of the best ways to counteract negative feelings is by expressing gratitude. It’s impossible to simultaneously feel sad, angry or upset while still being grateful. Gratitude has the most impact when it is expressed daily, through journaling or sharing with others. It can seem challenging at first, but with practice it will help you see and focus on all the wonderful things the world has in store for you!
  • CULTIVATE A MINDFULNESS PRACTICE: Mindfulness is about being in the moment. It means noticing what’s going on around you and within you—and not trying to change or fix it. There are many ways to practice mindfulness. Activities that emphasize breathing – such as meditation, yoga, tai chi and qigong – develop the practice of being present or “in the now.”
  • TAP INTO A SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY: For scientifically-minded veterinarians, spiritual wellbeing can easily fall by the wayside in favor of intellectual wellbeing. Please don’t let it! Even if you have no religious affiliation, spiritual wellbeing is important to your self-care. Spirituality is about exploring your purpose and meaning in life through connection and self-reflection. Part of this exploration is individual, and part of it comes from community. Getting involved in an encouraging and caring community provides support for your journey of self-discovery.
  • CREATE A SYSTEM FOR RECOGNIZING BURNOUT AND FATIGUE: Regularly check in with your stress level and job satisfaction. You can use our wellness assessment tool and track your status to see potential trends. It’s also helpful to be aware of the stress level in your workplace. If you recognize a colleague who may be struggling, offer to help them get support and resources. You can learn how to identify at-risk colleagues by taking the AVMA's one-hour gatekeeper suicide prevention training which the AVMA makes available free of charge to all veterinary professionals.

Incorporating these self-care practices into your routine will make it easier to sustain a fulfilling and successful career, no matter your professional focus.

Be kind to yourself, and embrace the fact that self-care is always a work in progress.