The COVID-19 pandemic has put the entire world in a situation many didn’t think possible in modern times. Plagues and pandemics and global shutdowns were tucked away in 14th century Europe or cut scenes from post-apocalyptic video games. However, nearly a year later, we find ourselves in the midst of wanting to tear our hair out from chronic stress and burnout. We want to change this overwhelming pattern of putting responsibilities before ourselves. We want to help create a new culture in 2021.
Relief Vet Self-Care Challenge
For Valentine’s Day this year, we would like to challenge the chronic stress and burnout by encouraging you to practice self-care and be your own valentine. You can (attempt to) cook yourself a five-star meal, buy yourself chocolates and flowers, or give yourself a relaxing spa day. We would like you to spoil yourself with a one-in-a-lifetime date this year to start a cycle of self-care that will help you thrive. The best way to start a cycle of self-care is to create a strong foundation to build, grow, and thrive upon.
In order to practice self-care, we need to establish the basics. Maintaining good hygiene, a consistent sleep schedule, and a healthy diet are all fundamental to establishing a healthy mind and body. We need to take care of our bodies so our bodies can take care of us.
Another basic of self-care is avoiding and limiting stress. Stress is a huge inhibitor to self-care, so limiting or eliminating triggers helps us build a healthy foundation for self-care. In addition to this, taking breaks from electronic devices and turning down excess commitments can help lower stress. Many of us continue to add commitment after commitment to our plates, but we need to keep a balanced diet.
While there are universal foundational practices of self-care, there are some aspects of self-care that are completely personalized to each individual. For some, self-care is as simple as taking a bath or playing video games. Others dedicate hours to snowmobiling or hiking. Self-care is designed to relax and prepare you for whatever comes next in your list of responsibilities. It may feel like a “guilty pleasure” to read sci-fi novels or knit blankets, but those guilty pleasures are self-care. Your patients are often recommended rest and relaxation, so we’re recommending rest and relaxation for you!
Stress is Normalized – But It Shouldn’t Be
Stress is oftentimes tossed around like we’re expected to grin and bear it. We should be used to stress, right? The late-night calls, surgeries, unruly patients – these are all stressful events we’re expected to push through as if stress isn’t a factor. But, as you know, stress is a factor. It leads to feeling overwhelmed, stressed-out, or succumbing to burnout. Instead of simply avoiding these ailments, we want to keep a healthy balance of stress and self-care. We all have stressful days, but we need to pair these days with self-care in order to maintain equilibrium.
While Valentine’s Day often comes with its own set of stress – planning a date, not having a date, patients who get into chocolate that isn’t theirs – we want you to see and use Valentine’s Day as a way to recharge and refresh yourself. So, this year, set aside a couple hours and make a commitment to finding equilibrium in your life. Share with us your favorite way to show your love for yourself by tagging us on social media!