Why Personal Wellness Sucks for Veterinary Professionals: An Insider’s Guide to Living the Life You Deserve - Vet Relief Staffing | Veterinary System Services

Why Personal Wellness Sucks for Veterinary Professionals: An Insider’s Guide to Living the Life You Deserve

Who needs a glass when you can drink wine out of the bottle? Picture this: I am in my bathtub ugly crying, drinking wine straight out of the bottle, and reading Brené Brown’s The Gifts of Imperfections.

How did I get here? I thought I had my life together, but apparently not. After this “breakdown,” I can tell you with absolute certainty that personal wellness is the pits! It is uncomfortable, a lot of work, and makes you ugly cry in your bathtub on a Friday night. This moment in my life was the turning point that lead me to make some real changes so I could begin living my best life. A great life. The kind of life only celebrities appear to have. You know: that elusive magical unicorn that you’ve never seen, but, because enough sightings have been reported, you still hold out hope that it actually exists and that you will one day experience it.

This isn’t another article about why wellness is important. After the umpteenth lecture we’ve heard on burnout and compassion fatigue, I think we all understand what it is and that we all deal with it at some level. One of those lectures may have even lit a spark in you and prompted you to hop on your magical unicorn and holler “I am going to do something about it!”


For the week following your magical awakening, you cut down on the coffee. You work out after a long shift. You meal prep for the week. You do all the things you think you are supposed to do… And then something happens. (Something always happens.) You have a hard day, someone at work says something upsetting, you lose a patient… whatever it is for you, your willpower is suddenly gone.

All right, hand over that giant cup of coffee and let’s get some takeout!

Why do we revert to our old ways even when we know those ways aren’t good for us? Because our old ways are easy and comfortable. We will subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) choose comfort over discomfort any day. Also, when we are motivated by something, our knee-jerk reaction is to run at it full speed ahead like a Chihuahua going for a jugular. We don’t stop to consider taking things one bite at a time—pun intended—or if what we are focusing on is actually going to help solve our issue at its core.


How you can work toward wellness
It’s time to break out of the vicious cycle and start living the lives we deserve. Some small changes can make a big difference. Here are a few ways you can get started down the path to wellness:

1. Start practicing self-kindness
2. Let go of perfectionism
3. Practice mindfulness
4. Create healthy boundaries
5. Start practicing gratitude

While my ugly crying, wine-guzzling experience in the bathtub was unpleasant and uncomfortable, it was also necessary. I couldn’t have marched through the discomfort and made it to a better place if I hadn’t figured out what was holding me back at my core.

Like a tech looking at an explosion of HGE knowing there is a clean floor waiting to be revealed, you can do this! But not without a little discomfort and the right tools (AKA: a gas mask and a lot of bleach).


KG HeadshotKristina is an Account Manager with VSS, a leadership coach, and a Certified Veterinary Technician. She and her goofy giraffe/dog named Wesson love to take long bike rides together. Kristina also enjoys drawing veterinary cartoons, photography, yoga, and traveling the world. Professionally, Kristina is passionate about the subject of leadership and well-being.