I recently took my best friend Vinny to the vet for his check-up. At check-in, I thanked the Veterinary Technician and receptionist for all they had done over the past 18 months and for how hard they had worked and continue to work during the pandemic. The look of surprise on their faces was noticeable, and they tilted their heads as if to ask, “How do YOU know how hard we’ve worked?” Then, when I explained that I work for NAVTA and that I had a sense of what they’ve been going through, they both beamed great big smiles and thanked me for thanking them. Then, when I suggested they both be sure to take care of themselves, there was suddenly a twinkle in their eyes and a bounce in their voices, as they recognized that I knew what was important to them and I cared about them and their self-care.
For many of us, self-care is a foreign concept or, at best, at the bottom of our never-ending, ever-growing “To Do” lists. It shouldn’t be that way. We shouldn’t wait for our To-Do list to be empty because it will never be empty. The floors will always need to be cleaned. The dishes will always need to be done. The laundry will always need to be folded. And as much as those things need to be done, the people in our lives – family, friends, co-workers, clients, and even patients – need us, even more, to be the best versions of ourselves. We can only be the best versions of ourselves when we take care of ourselves. We can’t constantly be giving and pouring out of ourselves without taking time to refuel; at some point, that tank will be empty, and that’s when damage occurs.
So, thank you for everything you do. Please know some people see and recognize and appreciate what you do every day. Please know, too, that everyone at NAVTA cares for and about you, and we want you to be healthy in body, mind, and spirit.
If you’ve not done so already, please take some time to think about what makes you feel alive, gives you energy, and refuels your tank. It could be sleeping, taking a walk, reading a book, working out, playing a game, praying, or anything else. Whatever it is, name it and commit to spending quality time doing it for your own self-care.
P.S. This blog was inspired by this awesome short video: https://youtu.be/mHMa2mkFbZU
Blog Author: Phil Russo, CAE
NAVTA Executive Director