The Vet Space Journal

Keep Smiling!

Michelle Vet Space Ireland Heavy Fleece Lined Beanie Grey

Michelle Maguire | March 31st 2020

The last day of March, the clocks have gone forward, the sun has been shining and there’s a great stretch in the evenings. The usual promise of spring is not quite with us this year. So far 2020 has been challenging to say the least and possibly the most difficult stage is yet to come. 

That said, there are a number of things that we can all try to implement into our daily lives to safeguard our mental health and to help reduce any anxiety that the current uncertainty is exacerbating. 

Firstly – be informed. It is vital if you are anxious about anything, a situation or an event, that you make sure you are well informed. Only obtain information from credible sources and limit your exposure to sensationalism. Social media is a great way to stay connected in this isolating time, but it can also be harmful to your wellbeing to consume too much negative and/or sensational headlines. 

The New Scientist is an excellent source of reliable information on all things relating to COVID-19. Click here if you want to keep up to date with the global effort to combat the virus and find the most up to date scientific research that’s being carried out. 

Vet Space Ireland has been involved in many discussions over the past number of weeks, with Vets across the country. The main theme from these discussions was again uncertainty. What should practices be doing to protect themselves, staff and clients? When should routine work cease? After an announcement from An Taoiseach last Friday, the Veterinary Council of Ireland have released some guidelines for practices available to download here:

The BSAVA have also created a useful triage tool for cats and dogs which you can also download here:

“Become experts on the thing that is threatening you” 

Commander Chris Hadfield, Astronaut

Now that you have become an expert in all COVID-19 related matters the next thing to do is recognise what you can and can’t control. Worrying about things outside of your control can be a great cause of stress. Do what you can to protect your family, staff, colleagues and business and trust in the authorities to take care of everything else. 

Be sensible, don’t take unnecessary risks. COVID-19 is a new virus and as such there is much we do not know about it. We believe at Vet Space that erring on the side of caution when dealing with the unknown is simple common sense. 

Try to maintain a routine and set daily tasks for yourself, as Commander Hadfield says, daily missions are vital during periods of isolation.

Lastly, keep connected. Isolation and worry can be very damaging to one’s well being. Even if you don’t feel like it, it’s important to keep connected with friends, family and colleagues. Plan video calls at weekends with friends over a glass of wine, set reminders daily to call a particular person just to catch up. Remember we are all in this together, and your friends and family may be struggling too. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The veterinary community is fantastic and everyone is willing to offer support. 

If you are struggling at this time you can access support at vetsupport.ie or aware.ie. 

Remember we will get through this, and try and enjoy the time you might have now to spend with your family. There are always silver linings to every cloud – find yours today. 

You can join Hazell and I for our weekly discussion on Instagram Live Sundays at 8pm

Stay safe, mind yourself and keep smiling.

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