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Yes, we know this sounds cliché because for those of us who work with and for animals, it is difficult to discern where work ends and our own time begins. We are dedicated professionals and it must be said, notoriously bad at self-care. We work late, take home the emotions of the job and continue to think about work in our off time. This work is not easy to switch off from, however for our longevity and quality of life it is vital that we learn tools that can help us achieve this balance, while looking forward to returning to work, refreshed and fulfilled.


However difficult it can be turning off our devices, unplugging, even if only for a day can have far-reaching therapeutic properties. The energy it takes to keep checking email, voicemail, etc. can be depleting.


Let’s face it; nobody else is going to do it for you. Plan your vacation now. Get it on the work and the home calendar. Book the flights, the hotel, the spa, the road race, the guided hike, the safari. Time away allows you come back refreshed and replenished and it leads to a more enriched life.


Practice saying it more often. “No, sorry, I can’t work an extra shift/hour/day/minute”. “No, I can’t make that event this evening.” “No, I have plans, but thank you.” See, it’s easy.


Making time for other passions and interests is life-affirming and necessary. You are not your work, your title or your business. You are dynamic and multi-faceted. Developing other interests or building on ones you already have will help round out your life in glorious ways and make you fall more in love with your work.


Taking care of you does not mean making professional sacrifices. If anything, success is a product of self-care, because a happy you is much more likely to bring the energy of balance to all areas of your life, including work where people and animals benefit. Putting yourself first can be learned and is not selfish.  Your profession does not have to define or consume you.