Dr. Holowaychuk shares her story and the winding path that led her to where she is today, including a critical event that served as a physical and mental wake up call, causing her to look deeply at her wellbeing and begin changing her habits and patterns. She participated in an 8 week mindfulness stress reduction program that she found SO transformative. As well as completing a 200-hour yoga training, that deepened her mindfulness and meditation practices.
After these training sessions, she began to ask big questions about how she could bring this practice into the veterinary space. Caregiving professionals need to take care of themselves, find self care, heal, and positively impact their mental health.
The concept of mindfulness is being fully in the present moment with our thoughts, feelings, and experiences—moving out of the doing and worrying mode. This means tuning into awareness, leaning into the physical body, being aware of breath, using a 5 senses check-in, etc.
Researchers have actually tested and shown that mindfulness workshops have the ability to reduce stress perception and enhance a sense of calm. Feeling skeptical? It’s not all or nothing. Meditation is a form of mindfulness that can be practiced in a variety of ways, from something as simple as a deep breath or a 5 minute mindful exercise all the way to a full meditation practice. These can be integrated into personal routines or be especially impactful in team settings with reflective questions that connect colleagues and their emotions. Not sure what to do? Download an app, watch a video, and find SOMETHING that you will do, no matter how small.
Dr. Marie Holowaychuk has a variety of platforms, including her website and podcast, that provide resources and information on the tools and strategies to bring mindfulness and its benefits to veterinary medicine.
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- Benefits of integrating meditation habits into veterinary practice.
- Reconnecting with your veterinary passion.
- How to create mindful practices for vet teams.
- The research behind mindfulness and meditation.
- How to get started with creating a meditation practice or routine.
- What to do if you ‘don’t believe in meditation’.