September/October 2017 | Volume 2, Issue 5

What’s Your Happy Place?

Lynne Johnson-Harris RVT | Editor in Chief

Ms. Johnson-Harris has been involved with the NAVC as a speaker and moderator since 1990. She was the first veterinary technician to serve as an elected Board member of the NAVC serving the Board from 2003 to 2015. Ms Johnson-Harris was also the first veterinary technician to serve as the President of the NAVC (2013-2014). Along with being the Editor in Chief of Today’s Veterinary Nurse journal, Ms. Johnson-Harris is the NAVC Specialty Programs manager and works as the practice manager working along side her husband, Dr. Jerry Harris at Hinckley Animal Hospital.

What’s Your Happy Place?

“Find your happy place.” I’m sure you’ve heard it somewhere, whether in a TV show, a movie, or just casual conversation. Have you ever taken it seriously? Do you have a happy place—somewhere you can go to “get your groove back on”? It’s not a trite saying. Everyone needs a happy place.

Happy places are where you feel at ease, aware of and at peace with yourself. They can in be your mind or a physical place. Mindfulness helps us find our way to our happy place.

Are you mindful?

According to mindful.org, the definition of mindfulness is “the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

My happy place is Middle Range Pond in Poland Spring, Maine. It takes 13 hours to get there from my house in Ohio by car; however, once I cross the river into Maine, I take a deep breath and say, “I’m home.” After a long, overnight drive, I pull up to my retreat and my stress eases. I become totally aware of where I am and what I need to do for myself to be mindful.

We all have stress in our days, and we all handle stress differently. Without having a “place” to go, those stressful days become more challenging.

We are also all aware of the increase in mental health issues and suicide in our profession. Even if you do have a happy place, where can you go if you are facing depression or know of a colleague that might be struggling?

The NAVC and its partners are very involved in helping all veterinary healthcare team members handle the stressful parts of their lives that they find challenging. One free resource center for veterinary team members is on the NAVC–AAHA site, VetFolio.com.

In addition, the NAVC will have programming at the 2018 VMX that addresses how to identify and manage stress.

Become aware, talk about it, become mindful. Resources and professionals exist to help you or someone you know with challenges that might feel overwhelming. Join us at the 2018 NAVC VMX and attend our Health and Wellbeing sessions. Check out the VetFolio content. Find your happy place.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Write me at LJohnson@navc.com.

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