Be a Strong Link – Improve your Personal Wellbeing
May 2, 2018
We have a wonderful passion for animals, veterinary medicine and taking care of others. However, sometimes we overlook that we must first take care of ourselves.
By actively seeking to improve your personal wellbeing, you become a strong link in your circle of influence.
You may have job changes, moving, getting married or divorced, having children, children moving away and starting their own family or other major changes. These are life experiences that are stressful, whether we acknowledge it or not.
Now compound the life stressors with the added pressures of being a veterinary professional. Self-awareness is the first step to understanding and managing personal wellbeing.
“To experience peace does not mean that your life is always blissful. It means that you are capable of tapping into a blissful state of mind amidst the normal chaos of a hectic life. ” – Jill Bolte Taylor
We talk about the health and wellbeing of the team. However, the team starts with the individual – YOU!
You’ve heard the saying about the “weak link.” Well, if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you may become the “weak link” in your team’s wellness. Focus on strengthening your self-awareness and wellbeing, consciously being the best you, every day.
We have dedicated the month of May to focusing on personal self-care.
You are not selfish
It’s not being selfish to put your health first! It’s a healthy approach to giving your best, later. After all, if you’re not in good shape mentally and physically, how are you going to take care of others?
It’s ok to like yourself first. (link to a previous blog)
“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. ” – Lucille Ball
While there are many areas of wellness to consider, for now, we are going to concentrate on four: eating, drinking, moving and sleeping.
Start with a self-evaluation. Click here to take our May poll. Here we will ask you a few questions around these four areas to spark your thinking about your current habits.
Truly evaluate your lifestyle: What is going well and what areas would you like to improve? Are you eating appropriately? Do you drink enough water? How are your exercise and sleeping patterns?
Then pick one thing to focus on for the month of May. Write down on a piece of paper one goal or one habit you wish to improve upon, even if it’s just a little bit.
Finally, think of tangible, attainable solutions to the one goal or habit. You might have to be creative. Focus on where you want to be.
How do people get to the top of the mountain? One step at a time!
Just take a small, healthy step forward. That’s it! You don’t need to conquer the mountain today, just take the first step towards it.
You will need to have mental toughness, especially at first, to resist temptations and distractions that will keep you from your goal.
For example, you may want to get more sleep. Focus on getting to bed at a similar time every night. Turn off the TV and phone 30 minutes prior to bedtime. Consider listening to mellow music or to a recording on relaxation, healing or sleep. You may be surprised by the number of excellent meditation exercise available to you.
Let the day go, it’s behind you. In front of you is the importance of a good night’s rest. Don’t dwell on all the things you didn’t get done. Concentrate on the number of hours of sleep that you have set as your goal.
When you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it. Acknowledge it and move on. Tomorrow is a new day with new opportunities to reach your goal. Persevere!
“Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness. ” – Deborah Day
You are alone not alone. There are tons of resources out there to help you; reach out to a friend, read a book or an article on self-help, or put sticky notes around your house with quotes that promote self-care.
Identify one small change you want to make to be a little bit healthier. You may find that a small step soon turns into a large advancement. By improving your personal wellbeing, you are strengthening your healthy link in your personal and professional “chain.” This may encourage others to do the same. So set that goal, no matter the size, and then seek to reach it!
Denise Mikita, MS, CVT