How to Achieve Work-Life Balance as a Veterinarian: Prioritizing YOU

Lauren van Oeveren
May 25, 2022

We’ve reviewed several aspects of improving work-life balance as a veterinarian, including setting boundaries and taking back your time. Taking steps to create more free time and clearer boundaries between your work and home life are important when it comes to work-life balance.

One other important part of work-life balance is the mental aspect. Now that you’ve freed up your time, committing to yourself and what makes you happy during those extra hours will help you to feel like you’re maximizing your time outside of work as well!

This article will go over ways to improve work-life balance in more subtle, but highly effective, ways such as focusing on self-growth, processing your emotions, and freeing up the mental space you need to be fully present at work and at home.

Prioritizing YOU.

Remember that social media isn’t real

Even those who you might compare yourself to are posting their most productive moments and highlight reels. Studies have shown that many social media users selectively curate their social media “personas,” and this can lead to upward social comparison, lowered self-esteem and even an increased propensity for social anxiety.

Find what works for you!

The ideal schedule and routine looks different for all of us. We may need to set different expectations and boundaries across different parts of our lives, so it’s all about knowing what is best for you.

Find a support system, both at work and at home

In a profession that can be emotionally draining, it’s so important to make sure that you’ve got a solid support system. Colleagues you can vent with and friends and family who are always there for you will help you feel more balanced in all parts of your life.

Therapy is an excellent option

Having an objective party to share your feelings, thoughts, and goals with can help you to free up space in your mind, create better coping mechanisms for yourself, and build routines and plans that will get you to the place you want to be.

Set professional and personal goals for yourself

Think about where you want to be in 5 years, both personally and professionally. What strategies can you use to get there? It’s nice to have things to look forward to, and creating tangible goals means that you can focus on just a few things at a time without becoming overwhelmed.

Start journaling

Write about your day as a whole—recognize every achievement, even small ones, and write down your feelings and thoughts. This will help you to notice small victories, celebrate growth, and process your thoughts.

Compassion fatigue can also make it hard to feel balanced even during days off. "This deep form of caring has a potential to be a risk factor for compassion fatigue and burnout if mental, spiritual, and emotional balance is not maintained. Compassion fatigue then is the emotional burden that occurs as the result of continued and excessive exposure to traumatic events that patients and families experience.” That’s why tactics like journaling and using therapy to learn how to process your emotions are especially important when it comes to finding balance in all areas of your life.

Work-life balance and you

In conclusion, work-life balance is achieved through a number of different factors. From setting boundaries and saying “no,” to creating schedules and routines for yourself to take back your time, to building habits that center mental health, there are a number of ways a veterinarian can work towards finding balance in their life.

Do you have any other tips for improving work-life balance for veterinarians? Let us know by messaging or commenting on social media!

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