Work-Life Balance within the Veterinary Hospital
Work-life balance is important for your physical and mental health and wellbeing. You may be incredibly dedicated to your job, but unless you also take enough time away, to rest your mind and body and focus on other activities that you find enjoyable, you could quickly find yourself burning out. If this happens, you could make yourself stressed, unwell, and even reach a point where you dread going to work. Many people who experience burnout leave a profession that they previously loved because they simply haven’t been able to find a balance between their work and home life. This is truer than ever in caring roles such as doctors, veterinarians, and nurses, where your passion for helping others can make it difficult to draw a line between home and work.
One of the biggest misconceptions that people have is that their work and life have to have equal balance, but this isn’t the case. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to create your own definition of work-life balance. For example, some people are happy to make their work a priority over their home life. This tends to be more common in people who aren’t in relationships or who don’t have children to care for. Meanwhile, others may feel that their home life needs to be their priority, such as if they have other people to care for. Deciding on your preferred balance and sticking to it as much as possible is crucial if you are to prevent burn out and its subsequent effects.
Here are our top tips for nailing your perfect work-life balance within a veterinary hospital.
Try and put yourself first
When you work in a caring role, you almost certainly have difficulty putting yourself first. Your commitment has likely always been towards the wellbeing of others, but when it comes to achieving work-life balance, it is essential that you do make the effort to put yourself first. After all, you can’t help others to the best of your ability if you aren’t well taken care of. Make sure that you schedule some time for yourself to do the things that you enjoy – whether that’s going to the gym, reading in a hot bath, or binge-watching some television. Make sure you take your vacation days and schedule to have multiple days off at once. A single day at home is beneficial, but a few days at once can enable your body and mind to properly rest.
Set limits in both your personal and professional life
A large part of burn outcomes from rushing around and not being able to cram everything that we need to in our work life, home life, or both. It is crucial to set limits for yourself so that you make sure you don’t spend too much time on one thing and instead, you can achieve everything you really need to in the time that you have. For example, create a boundary that means that you never take paperwork home. Finishing it at the office prevents it from encroaching onto your home life and stopping you from doing the things that you need to relax and unwind.
Don’t be scared to delegate
If you are in a position to, don’t be afraid to delegate tasks to others around you. Many of us are keen to try and accomplish everything ourselves and worry about asking others to help. The truth is that many colleagues are happy to step in and take on new tasks and responsibilities. It will help shape their professional development and give them an additional sense of purpose too.
Know your limits and learn to say no
Most people have a good idea of just how much they can handle before things overwhelm them. It can be tempting to try and take on everything yourself, especially if you feel that you have something to prove. However, regularly taking too much on will put you on the fast track to burn out, so it is important to remember when your limit is. If you are approaching the ceiling, don’t be scared to say no. It’s impossible for one person to do everything, and your colleagues will respect you far more for saying no and still completing work to the highest standard, than overcommitting and making mistakes or needing to pull back from your commitments.
Prioritize your health
You can only perform to the best of your ability if you are healthy and happy. Make time to eat healthy, nutritious meals, exercise regularly, get out in the fresh air, and get a decent amount of sleep as much as you can. It really will make a difference.
Step away from technology
Technology enables us to connect with virtually anyone, anywhere, and anytime. However, when you need to take a step back from work or home, technology can make that seem impossible. Try to undergo regular digital detoxes that enable you to focus on yourself and your needs, rather than what is happening with other people you have around you.
Ask for help
If it all gets too much and you can feel that you are on the edge of feeling overwhelmed, ask your friends, family, and colleagues for help. Talking to other people can make it easier to gain some perspective on your life and this will help you to rationalize the way that you are feeling, making it easier to keep burn out at the bay.
If you are struggling with work-life balance and would like to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to contact our friendly and compassionate team.