Mental Health

Escape to Find Yourself in the VetSpace

Escape to Find Yourself in the VetSpace

Stress has become so widespread these days in the veterinary world that some are now considering stress part and parcel of everyday work life. But truth be told, stress is a raging pandemic that has many in the VetSpace on lockdown with no end in sight. Listen, the stress phenomena have no business in the VetSpace or be considered part of everyday life than, say, the Black Plague. Yet we allow it to take control of our life.

Indeed, in some cultures, stress is even unheard of.

In the mad dash for economic and professional gain, material wealth has subconsciously become the ultimate standard for success. It has reached the top of most people’s priority lists. Now, we understand that we need to have goals to succeed. But when the odds are constantly stacked against you, achieving your goals seems like an impossible task. You put more pressure on yourself to perform while the rug is being pulled out from under you by an unhealthy work environment.

This seemingly irreversible trend has spurned burnout, has strained relationships, and has brought about many mental breakdowns that have led to suicidal ideation and worse. And though it would be unrealistic for the world to do a complete turnaround and return to the basics of simple living, you have the power to effect positive change within yourself.

Take it easy. Learn to relax. Do breathing exercises and meditate. Never lay down while meditating, as you will only fall asleep. Instead, sit up straight, close your eyes, breathe deeply, and empty your mind of all thought, concentrating only on one thing. It can be a single word, a mental picture, or an abstract idea, as long as you focus on nothing but that. Feel yourself go on an inward, spiritual journey, and your soul will be grateful afterwards.

Detoxify. Drink plenty of water as this will aid your body in flushing out harmful toxins accumulated from all the unhealthy habits of modern living.

Sure, Saturday nights are ideal for dinner with friends and a movie. However, taking time out to be alone can be just as rewarding, if not even more so. Allot an entire weekend all to yourself. Put your phone on silent and turn off all notifications. Take a break from social media. The idea is to eliminate anything that could serve as a distraction.

Even clocks are a distraction, so you might want to drape a small towel over yours to conceal its face and keep you from knowing the time. Take a nice hot bath while listening to relaxing music. For a more invigorating ambience, light some candles or burn incense. Your overall surroundings should be conducive to relaxation.

If you have the means, go on a retreat. This is an excellent opportunity for you to escape—literally and figuratively—from all the stress and routine of your existence. This isn’t a regular vacation; you ought to drag along friends, coworkers, or family members. Retreats are best undertaken in solitude amidst nature and austere but breathtaking locations. Bring none of your modern conveniences, except perhaps a player and headphones for the relaxing and inspirational music you intend to pack with you. Wear comfortable clothing, and check your perfume, makeup, and jewelry at the door. Bring lots of reading material as this is the perfect time for you to catch up on them, especially those books that require your undivided attention. Keep a journal handy to write down your thoughts, reflections, and personal goals. Alcohol and cigarettes are absolutely out of the question.

In some retreats, yoga sessions are offered. You might want to continue this when you get back to the real world, totally refreshed and energized. Yoga classes are quite popular, and with a little bit of research, you can find one in your area to keep those muscles flexing and your spirit soaring. It’s the perfect way to achieve the balance between mind and body.

 

Stopping to admire the roses doesn’t mean stopping permanently, just as experiencing life at a much slower pace doesn’t suggest entirely giving up on the world. There is nothing quite like discovering meaning in the simplest things or finding joy in the mundane and, in doing so, realizing that in less, there is actually more. Remember, a positive mental attitude is the right mental attitude in any given situation. Your emotions are nothing but reflections of your mental attitude, which you can organize, guide and complete control when you take excellent care of your mental health. Having a positive mental attitude attracts opportunities for success. In contrast, a negative mental attitude repels opportunities which blind you and doesn’t allow you to see and even take advantage when they come around. Create the change you want to see in the VetSpace by starting with you and your mental well-being.

 

By Nicole LaForest

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