Category Archives for "Anxiety"
I lost a lot of Sundays to Sunday Blues.
For years it was my only day off each week… and I was so afraid of squandering it that I’d sit motionless on my couch, thinking about all the things I could (or should) do… and doing none of them.
I’d watch the time tick by, counting down the hours until I had to be back at work… and with each passing hour my anxiety would grow… ⏰
And forget about getting a good night’s sleep on a Sunday night… never happened.
The result: ➡️ MONDAY MADNESS
Let’s be honest- Mondays are usually a little crazy in the veterinary world… but when you add Peak Anxiety and No Sleep… they are hell.
Nobody wants that kind of job (or life)!
But here’s the thing…
👉🏻The problem wasn’t the job.
👉🏻The problem wasn’t the clients.
👉🏻The problem wasn’t my boss or co-workers.
👉🏻The problem wasn’t even the lack of sleep.
😳 The problem was my inability to separate who I was as a person & veterinarian from outcomes of my cases and the way other people behaved.
😥 The problem was the false belief I had created that my value was only intact when all patients got better, all clients were happy, and all coworkers got along.
I KNOW I’M NOT ALONE!
🐾 Guys, this is no way to live!
Unmanaged, misunderstood anxiety is killing our profession… because we don’t have the tools we need to deal!
Joyful DVM is changing that. CLICK HERE to find out how.
💥 𝐒𝐓𝐎𝐏 𝐆𝐈𝐕𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐏𝐎𝗪𝐄𝐑 𝐀𝗪𝐀𝐘 💥
📣The things that people say and do can only impact your mental health IF YOU LET THEM.
You Get To Choose… every time… in every situation… Your Choice.
Most of us just believe that the way we feel in any given situation is just the way it is… that we can’t change it…
… and this is why we’ve bought into a culture of victimization in our profession as a whole.
🎉 The GREAT NEWS is we can take back the control over our lives, and the fate of our mental health! 🎉
𝐃𝐢𝐝 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐧 𝐤𝐧𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐤𝐢𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐟 𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫?
I promise, you do!
So how do you tap into it?
➡️ For starters, you have to learn how to recognize and manage ANXIETY.
I’ll show you how in my Free Webinar… CLICK HERE to check it out.
Have you ever wondered, “Why can’t I just be happy?”
We ask ourselves this a lot, don’t we.
The bigger question, why is happiness the goal at all?
What do we believe about achieving happiness?
What is happiness anyway?
What creates it?
How do we measure it?
Here’s a better question: What if being unhappy wasn’t a problem… but just a normal part of the human experience?
Life is 50/50… homeostasis drives our physiology. Our medical education taught us that.
If we take the time to look around, we’ll find the power and pull of homeostasis present in every aspect of the world.
Balance is king!
We actively seek it…. how often have you said you really want work-life balance?
Our emotions are no different!
We experience 50% positive and 50% negative emotions by design.
100% positive was never the goal!
In absence of tangible means of measuring the success of our lives, our minds will latch onto anything to determine if we are doing it right.
In school it was test results and degrees earned that reassured us. We were happy when we got good grades and graduated.
In practice it’s often patient outcomes and happy clients… and when either goes bad the only available conclusion is that we are doing it all wrong.
We aren’t cut out for this.
We are unhappy.
We are messing up our lives.
But happiness, just like patient outcomes, is not a true measures of our abilities, value and worth.
Happiness is not created by the events around us, and the absence of it is not a problem.
The negative emotions are not a problem.
Negative emotions are not evidence that something is going wrong.
They don’t need to be solved for.
They are intentionally part of the human experience.
50/50 positive/negative means everything is going right.
The key is learning to Allow and Process the negative, rather than resisting it, reacting to it, and avoiding it.
When we learn how to do this, everything becomes available.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
We miss out on so much of our lives simply because we are unwilling to feel negative emotions.
It comes down to basic neuroscience.
Curious? I explain it all in my free webinar.
Check it out: https://joyfuldvm.com/webinar
Do you every wonder why I keep talking about anxiety?
Anxiety leads to depression… and depression leads to suicide… and suicide is not an acceptable solution.
I don’t want to lose any more VetMed professionals to suicide.
But so far, we aren’t doing enough to stop it.
So I keep trying.
I know when I talk about anxiety through Joyful DVM people hear me. The exact right people hear me at the exact right time.
I know the messages make a difference
I know the teaching is life-changing.
This is not just my opinion either…
I have proof in the stories, breakthroughs, and gratitude I receive by email and messages on a regular basis.
You remind me this is not about me, it’s about you… so I keep going, and I keep pushing you to step up and make a different choice if you are not happy with your life.
Take back your power.
I can show you just how easy it is.
Curious? Check out my free webinar, CLICK HERE.
Anxiety and stress in the veterinary profession seems like an inevitable reality for many of us in the profession.
We regularly describe ourselves as begin “stressed out” or “anxious” people.
Some of us have been wearing these labels for a long time. We believe them to be true. They are part of our identity.
But most of us have never considered what being anxious or stressed out really means.
Anxiety and stress are what I call Bucket Emotions. They are lots of different negative emotions, existing simultaneously, and dumped all into one container which we carry around.
This is part of the reason they feel so overwhelming… it’s hard to fix what you don’t really even understand.
When we give ourselves the opportunity to analyze our buckets of anxiety and stress we often find emotions like fear, sadness, inadequacy, scarcity, and frustration.
If we then remember that emotions are created only from thoughts, we can ask ourselves these questions:
What am I believing that is creating fear right now?
What am I believing that is creating sadness right now?
What am I believing that is creating inadequacy right now?
The answers to those questions will reveal much, including opportunity to consider the validity of each thought, and to offer yourself alternative perspectives.
Getting to know the real causes of our anxiety, instead of just accepting it as inevitable and pushing on to function despite it, is the key to decreasing it, or even helping it go away.
It’s not an easy process.
It will require you to question things you’ve long-believed to be true.
It will force you to grow.
But, it will always be worth it.
So I’m wondering, what’s hiding in your bucket?
I have a question for you this week….
What if you’re normal?
What if patients not getting better don’t mean you’re bad at your job?
What if angry clients don’t mean that you’re doing it all wrong?
What if all that student loan debt doesn’t mean you’ve chosen the wrong career?
What if your anxiety, and the nights you’ve spent worrying about your cases doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you?
What if you’re just normal?
Here’s the truth…
Most of us think we are the only broken ones… the ones doing it all wrong… the ones who never should have gone to vet school in the first place.
From there we can spiral downward very quickly….
We start believing we are total imposters, a waste of space, a burden to those around us, and then we make decisions we can’t take back.
But, what if we are all just normal?
What if feeling insecure, inadequate, anxious and afraid are all just part of how this works?
Now don’t be tempted to conclude you’re screwed… many of us would go there.
Instead, just recognize it for what it really is… just part of a journey you are meant to take.
This is just the part where it’s time to grow again… where the discomfort of where you are is unbearable long-term, so you find yourself reconsidering everything.
I like to think about this time as what a caterpillar would feel like just before it breaks out of the cocoon. Tight, cramped, thinking this cocoon building thing was a terrible idea… something has gone terribly wrong… worst. decision. ever.
Right now as YOU reconsider all aspects of your life, you’re drawing the same conclusion: worst. decision. ever.
But what if you’re normal?
What if, like the caterpillar, this is all just part of the process, and the real magic starts when you grow out of where you are right now?
That caterpillar didn’t even know it would become a butterfly, let alone how to fly, when it was in the cocoon, it had no idea what was coming next… but it knew staying put wasn’t an option.
What if not knowing what is coming next is an intentional part of the journey?
When you allow yourself to consider this, you can let go of the belief that everything is going wrong. When you let go of that, it becomes a whole lot easer to believe you are normal.
Just start there.
What if you are normal? What becomes possible then?
Have you wondered why this VetMed work-life balance thing is so dang hard?
I’ve got the answer: You were set up to fail.
Yep, you heard me, right.
Our education and our professional organizations have set us up to fail.
They haven’t meant to do it…
I’m certain they were motivated by the desire to help.
But, I think it’s had the opposite effect.
I discussed this rather passionately in a Facebook Live Event.
See, the more we talk about the veterinary profession being at the top of the suicide list as if it is an inevitable reality, and the more resources we create for the veterinary profession to use once we are already in crisis mode, the more we reinforce the belief that being at risk for suicide and experiencing crisis are inevitable consequences of this profession.
I 100% believe these discussions and resources are life-saving and needed, so don’t interpret my words otherwise.
BUT, statistical discussions and crisis-ready resources alone are not enough.
In the same way that sharing dog-bite statistics and best methods to repair dog-bite lacerations will do nothing to stop dog bites, such is the approach we are taking to address a real mental health problem in our profession.
This approach labels us as victims… helpless victims of the profession we chose.
We are doing nothing to get in front of the mental health challenges.
We are doing nothing to stop mental health crisis from happening in the first place.
We are missing the whole point.
I’m not okay with that.
What’s true is that each and every one of us has the power to choose our responses, including our emotional responses, in any given situation.
Did you know that? Did you know that in addition to being able to choose the words that come out of your mouth, you can also choose the way you feel on the inside, No Matter What?
It’s this magical growth into Emotional Adulthood that most of us don’t even know is possible until someone shares that it exists.
That’s me. I’m sharing! Listen up!
When we grow into Emotional Adulthood, our happiness isn’t influenced by things outside of ourselves… things like the nasty comments clients make, overbooked schedules, patients who don’t respond to treatment, the volume of our student loan debt, etc.
When we grow into Emotional Adulthood we believe in ourselves, we become powerful, we can handle anything that comes at us.
But here’s the thing… advancing in years on this planet does not increase our Emotional Adulthood. It takes intentional learning and effort to understand the concepts and then apply them in our own lives.
It’s work… but it opens up every opportunity!
If the life you have right now is not the life you want, you’ve got some work to do.
There are no victims in VetMed.
I’m available to help you identify what’s really holding you back, and to teach you life-alternating concepts that will serve you for the rest of your life.
I’m all in…. are you curious?
If the answer is yes, then I encourage you to check out my Free Webinar and I promise you’ll walk away with a new awareness and understanding about yourself, your life as it currently exists, and your ability to create the life you want starting right now.
You have nothing to lose… except the belief that you are destined to crummy life and a victim of your profession.
You have everything to gain… so Click Here, and let’s get to work!
One of the things we do really well in VetMed is diagnostics.
I mean, we kind of have to, because our patients can’t talk, right?
We intentionally gather information about a particular problem in order to make decisions and create a plan for addressing the problem.
In order to fix any problem, we have to first identify the cause.
Once we’ve identified the cause, only then can we consider potential solutions.
But I’m left wondering, why don’t we offer ourselves the same level of care?
I’m not talking about the human healthcare system… don’t even get me started on that…
I’m talking about our personal approach to our own mental health.
Specifically, I’m talking about the anxiety-stress-worry cycle we experience.
Why are we so quick to avoid it (changing jobs) and cover it up (ice cream in my case) instead of taking the time to understand what is causing it, and consider possible solutions?
Maybe it’s simply because we don’t know how.
Maybe it’s because somewhere along the way we bought into a belief that there is no solution for the causes of VetMed anxiety… that it’s inevitable.
Do you believe that?
I hope not.
You have more power than that… like WAY MORE POWER.
I shared my thoughts on this in a Joyful DVM Facebook Live. To watch, CLICK HERE.
In Vet Med, why are we so quick to judge ourselves when patients don’t get well or clients behave badly?
A pesky voice in our minds tells us it’s our fault… we must have failed…
Somewhere along the way we decided that happy clients and patients that get well are evidence of success, value and worth as a veterinarian.
It’s a lie.
It’s actually worse than a lie because it depends on two things we have zero control over:
1. what other people do
2. how individual patients respond to treatment
Much of our anxiety, worry and dread as veterinary professionals are rooted in the “what-if world” of these two uncontrollable things… and left unchecked, our minds spin in frenzy trying to manage all the variables that might possibly swing the outcome in our favor.
Spoiler: It doesn’t work.
It actually creates a whole lot of other issues in our professional and personal lives…
In a Facebook Live Event, I talked about this in detail and walked through an example of how it often plays out.
To watch the video, CLICK HERE.
Getting a handle on the anxiety is the first step in taking back control of our lives and learning how to create a life we want to live… but most of us don’t know where to start.
I’ve got you covered!
Check out my Free Webinar: https://joyfuldvm.com/webinar
Hang in there, my friend. The first step toward a joyful life is always just one brave and intentional decision away…
When I look back at my darkest days in veterinary practice, I can still feel the anxiety.
I remember the nights I didn’t sleep much because I was so worried about a patient……or replaying a client interaction over and over in my mind…. or dreading the surgery on my schedule the next day….
Sound familiar? Can you relate?
I owned a solo doctor practice for nearly 5 years… and every day I carried around what I call “Potential GDV Anxiety”.
I’m so thankful one never actually came in… but the emotional well-being I lost to that worthless anxiety can’t really be measured.
There are 4 Categories of Veterinary Anxiety:
1. Personal Inexperience
2. Unexpected Events (my “Potential GDV Anxiety” fits here 🤣)
3. Human Interactions
4. Prior Results
On a Facebook Live Event, I talked about each of these, and described the difference in Stress, Worry & Anxiety.
(Nope, they’re not all the same thing!).
If you want to watch the video, CLICK HERE!
Looking back, if I’d have had the knowledge and tools I have now, I’m confident I would have had an entirely different experience…
It is this belief that prompted me to create Joyful DVM in the first place… so I can help people just like you to break out of the Anxiety Trap, stop regretting your career choice, and learn to enjoy your life!
So if you’re ready to take the first step toward getting a handle on the Anxiety Monster, I invite you to check out my Free Webinar: https://joyfuldvm.com/webinar
In the mean time, I’d love to hear from you.
What causes the most anxiety in your life as a veterinary professional.
Drop me a comment and let me know.