Self Care Series For Veterinary Professionals Day 1

burnout cynisim exhaustion self care stress veterinary Jan 12, 2021

This is the first instalment of a Series of talks I presented from my webinar series titled.  "Self Care Series for Veterinary Professionals: 5 Simple Self Care Tools to Reduce Stress & Combat Burnout in 2021" Click here to see Day 0 Introduction

Burnout is a very real problem, especially for all of us in the Veterinary Industry. Please don't underestimate the importance of building resilience to stress and recognising the importance taking care of your physical as well as your emotional well-being. But you can't do that if you don't appreciate what you lose by NOT dealing with burnout.

Look for these 5 Signs suggestive that you are sliding into Veterinary Burnout and ask yourself honestly; How many hours am I you spending at work or thinking about work? Do I remember when last I did something just for me? Is focusing so much attention on your work or the practice a wise decision?  No, not if you want to achieve a work/life balance (I call it the Work-Life Continuum) that makes you and your family happy. Even if you’re single, making time for self-care and relaxation will improve your overall health and mental wellbeing.

Burnout is actually categorized specifically by 3 Core Signs & Symptoms: Measured by a standardized evaluation The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) for Health Professionals.

  1. Emotional & Physical Exhaustion: Feelings of being emotionally overexerted and physically exhausted by work
  2. Depersonalisation & Cynicism: Unfeeling and  impersonal responses toward recipients of one's service, care or treatment.
  3. Reduced sense of Personal accomplishment: Feelings of competence and successful achievement in ones work with clients and patients.

However, today I am talking about the more subtle signs before you reach full blown burnout. The ones we all think are harmless & part of the 'life'. Burnout is lost confidence. Without energy and active involvement in your work, it is hard to keep motivated. The less effective you feel, the more you will have nagging doubts about your self-worth and personal accomplishment. Let’s talk about a few of the signs to look for that indicate you might be headed toward burnout. 

If your brain can’t shut down because you’re consumed with work, your sleep pattern
will get disrupted, leaving you overtired, lacking energy, and possibly lacking the
mental energy to make wise business decisions.

2. Procrastination.
Do you cringe at the length of your daily to-do list? Did these tasks once excite you but now they make you want to crawl under a rock? Procrastination leads to missed
deadlines and opportunities to promote your business.

3. Fatigue.
The human body is only capable of handling so much stress on limited sleep. Certainly you’ve heard the phrase “burning the candle at both ends”? That’s what happens when you work yourself to the bone and don’t give your body and brain enough time to recover before starting another high-stress day. At some point your body will want to give up, causing severe fatigue and possibly other illnesses that will keep you out of the practice or clinic.

4. Changes in appetite.
For some people, stress causes them to overeat; for others, stress reduces their
appetites. Neither extreme is good for your body. For optimal health and mental
clarity, take lunch breaks away from the desk and choose natural, healthy food
choices instead of fast food items.

5. Anxiety.
High stress causes anxiety, which can cause crippling fear or other physical
symptoms. Keep in mind: there’s a big difference between the anxiety you feel when
stepping out of your comfort zone versus stress-induced anxiety that doesn’t seem to go away.

Think about this: as a veterinary surgeon, if you are not physically able to run your
practice or clinic, what happens to it? Chances are, you’d have to close your doors
and any streams of income you currently have will disappear if you are sole charge.

Let’s avoid this happening! Take care of your whole body, mind, and spirit. Follow these 5 Tips for Easy Self-care.

  1. Take quiet time to relax.
  2. Get outdoors and breathe in some fresh air.
  3. Unplug for a whole weekend and live in the moment with your family.
  4. Reconnect with old friends.
  5. Start a hobby or rekindle an old neglected one. The choices are limitless but start small.

I recently hosted a 5 Day Webinar Series titled "Self Care Series for Veterinary Professionals: 5 Simple Self Care Tools to Reduce Stress & Combat Burnout in 2021" dedicated to this self-care topic. After I was diagnosed with severe burnout myself and had 4 unpleasant hospital admissions in 6 months, I had to stop! I discovered changes in my own physical wellness and my mindset changed my life forever. Once I started taking care of myself, embraced my life outside of the practice and reconnected with myself again, I found true happiness & peace.

If you want to access all the video content that goes with the entire series just join here and have all of this at a click of a button. Remember to access Day 1 Resources.  Join me for Day 2 of the Series where we talk about optimizing your Cognitive Function with good Brain Food

Thank you for joining me for this Self Care Series and understanding that by prioritizing your own self care, your actions are contributing to all of us upgrading the welfare of the veterinary industry as a whole.

It starts with you.

Much Love & Appreciation

Dr Tshidi Gardiner, BSc BVSc Pg Cert Surg MRCVS,

Mindset Mentor & Wellness Coach, Proud to be a Veterinary Surgeon

[email protected]



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