Blog Author: Mariel Hendricks, BS, RVT
NAVTA Member at Large
We’ve all come home from a tough day at work, and the cookies and ice cream were calling our names. My personal favorite are brownies – baking them makes my house smell wonderful, and eating them is an even better way to spend my evenings with The Amazing Race and a glass of wine.
I’ve learned that my comfort zone is food when I’m stressed in life. But, unfortunately, in our profession, completely unavoidable stressors come into our lives daily. From financially upset owners to a crashing patient under anesthesia or a fight with a coworker – we can create some unhealthy habits for ourselves to cope with the difficult days that follow us home.
I’ve personally recognized that my coping habits were extremely unhealthy. After having kids, my metabolism has completely changed, and drowning myself in brownie batter had negative long-term effects on my life. I was gaining weight, constantly tired, and making lazy decisions about meals in my life.
A year ago, I started taking responsibility for my actions and forcing myself to get a little uncomfortable. We can’t change if we stay in our comfort zones, right? So, I started packing my lunch to have healthier options at work, and I started meal-prepping at home to avoid the temptation of fast food. While I still enjoy my daily Mountain Dew, I know that my decisions have led to a healthier, happier me. The smells of smoked, juicy chicken now fill my house with rice and veggies on the side, with a brownie or cookie just a few times a week. It was tough at first, but now it’s my normal routine.
Simple changes like healthier food habits can lead to a happier you, both mentally and physically. After bench pressing a 70-pound lab onto the radiology table or running an upsetting euthanasia appointment, we can all use a better way to cope with our daily struggles. What healthy habits have you started?