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Saturday, August 29, 2009


It should come as no surprise to readers of this blog, or to those in the profession, that being a veterinarian can be very stressful. Most jobs carry some stress, but I think that it's especially noticeable in those where you are responsible for someone else's well-being. This can be physically mentally, or financially. Your decisions can lead someone into ruin or bring them back from it. That's a lot of pressure for people in these kinds of professions. And at some point you have to learn how to leave it behind and de-stress.

That's a very, very hard thing for me to do, as I tend to dwell on things for much longer than I should. But I still try to work on reducing my stress once I get home. Of course, I'm a husband and father, so there is often a different set of stresses waiting for me at home, but that's a different story. Everyone has different ways of reducing their stress or getting their minds off work. Some exercise, some call friends, some go out drinking...there are about as many ways as there are people.

Most of my ways involve temporarily getting away from the real world and immersing myself in an alternate reality. No, that doesn't mean that I have a VR set-up in my home. Sometimes I will read a novel, letting myself get lost in the characters and settings. Often I will play a video game, especially an action one or one that involves role-playing. Games where I can take out my frustrations by killing monsters and evil-doers are pretty common. When I'm really tired I'll deliberately try to find a rather mindless TV show or movie and simply vegetate in front of it. I've found that chamomile and passionflower tea seems to help take the edge of (and I'm drinking some right now!). My ways are not for everyone (especially the video games), but they can help me. My wife is also great about trying to help reduce my stress and simply love me when I've had a bad day.

So, as I'm thinking of new ways to de-stress, I'm curious what methods you readers use. Since we all have stresses in our lives, perhaps some of the comments might help someone find a new way to get calmer and reduce tension. Let's see what you have to say! Even if you're not a person who regularly adds comments, try it this time and mention something that helps you reduce your stress.


  1. Well a body massage works a treat - even if it is not realistic every night!

    I try to feel organised... not to the point of OCD, but enough so I can relax and let go without worrying about things. Perhaps I am just a control freak?
    Certainly a healthy diet and some exercise pays dividends - I try to fight it, so it is really noticable how much better I do feel when I pay attention to those things!

    Laugh - as much as you can...

    I try to appreciate good points about my life... and having just realised how much the winter has depressed me, I am now relishing a few other things outside work to cheer me up. And spring has arrived - I feel sooo much better I wrote about it today :)

  2. Wow, we destress almost the exact same way! I love reading, and I'll play rpg video games (Final Fantasy, Fable, stuff like that), or just chill out with the T.V. I also spend time with my dog and just pet him.

    Although, I work at a doggy day care, and the stress I get is from dealing with 30-90 dogs with only one other person as backup, so I've stopped going to my dog to destress, haha. I get enough dog attention in one day to last over a year.

  3. Agility, Obedience, Rally-0, Tracking...hmmm, see a theme. I love dog training!

  4. Um, screaming and throwing things works well for me. After I'm done, I feel so much better. :)


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