Looking after team wellbeing is a really hot topic in the veterinary world. Even though our jobs can be incredibly rewarding, they can also be emotionally challenging too. Sadly, vets are 3-4 times more likely than the general population to take their own lives (Platt et al., 2010). And it’s not just vets who can be affected by the stresses of work, but vet nurses, receptionists, practice managers and students working on placement in practice too.
As part of our ongoing investment into wellbeing at 387 Vets, two of our team attended a one day Mental Heath First Aid training course with St John’s ambulance in April. As well as learning about what mental health illness can look like and how to approach and support someone who may be struggling, Rachel and Emma also took away some really useful references about how to look after your own mental health.
We particularly liked Action for Happiness’s evidence-based ‘Ten keys to happier living’. They identify the 10 areas where we can take practical action to help boost wellbeing and help prevent depression and anxiety as: Giving, Relating, Exercising, Awareness (of the present moment), Trying out new things, Direction (having goals), Resilience, Emotions (looking for the good), Acceptance (being comfortable with who we are) and Meaning (being part of something bigger). To make it easy to remember each area, the first letter from each word spells GREAT DREAM.
At our practice meeting last week, we work-shopped what some of our positive actions under these keys might look like. And we came up with heaps of ideas! Suggestions ranged from learning a new language, planning a meal with friends and making time for small talk, to baking, dancing, helping a stranger, smiling, accepting we are all different, pushing the boundaries (and doing that scary thing!) and making time for activities you love. We’re now creating a display on our ‘wellbeing window’ in our kitchen so that we can pick and choose new strategies for feeling good about life as and when we need!
If you’d like to know more about Action for Happiness’s ‘GREAT DREAM: Ten keys to happier living’ click here. You’ll find lots of inspiration, and you can pick and choose strategies – whatever appeals to you.
Pledge to make time today to do something specifically wellbeing-boosting for you!
*Image from www.actionforhappiness.org