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Stress, Anxiety, Depression... Just Stick to Your Passion

Updated: Oct 22, 2021

I was chatting with my husband about how everything is at a standstill. We've been trying to get pregnant since our honeymoon. Needless to say, we have been unsuccessful. While stress is always a component, and many folks will tell a woman who is trying to conceive (TTC) to 'just relax', everyone should also know... don't tell a woman to relax.

What have I been doing to relax during these days of isolation? Yesterday, my husband and I went for a drive, we found a park that was quite isolated, i.e. very few people in the park, and I had a chance to just sit by the water and watch the waves lap on the sand. But what do you do when you are feeling trapped inside? Both inside your home, and inside your head. I did a little bit of yoga, a little bit of dancing, I started re-learning Japanese, we have been watching UFC fight pass from 1993 onward, and I have been blogging about the COVID-19 news and science. Writing, as I mentioned before, is a good way to get your thoughts out of your head and on to paper, or in this case, screen.

Gary Vee talks about focusing on your passions, F the people who are discouraging you... it is their own insecurities. But remember that post that I talked about Fear of Failure? Or how about protecting yourself from the online bullying? It's hard. When you are a sensitive person, who strives to do good in the world, and you don't feel appreciated, or you feel slandered, it can be difficult to put yourself out there. My own husband doesn't even read all my blog posts.

So why the heck do I keep writing? I write because it's therapeutic. Why am I writing a bunch of posts about COVID-19? Because I love to learn.

I also love to teach. Part of being a veterinarian is client education. When a client comes in with a list of questions, I love it. Some vets don't. Because they are in a time crunch. But I can tell you, if I can't answer their questions briefly, I ask them if it's ok if I send them an email with some information. Common things that come up include information about the BEG Diet, or the subtle signs that their dog is actually in congestive heart failure. They say that knowledge is power, and I say that knowledge is free. I am constantly researching to improve my knowledge foundation. Research itself is ever changing.

So when I say that things are at a standstill, due to the pandemic, I am currently only working 2 days a week. All of my surgeries have been cancelled. The only time that I get to educate clients is over the phone during consultations, and writing to those of you interested in reading.

The standstill depresses me. Did I mention that I actually hope to specialize in the future? Chances are high that the continuing education conference that I had planned on attending this summer will get postponed or even cancelled. I was planning on taking the opportunity to network and try to locate an appropriate mentor for specializing.

I want to specialize and then teach in a veterinary medical school. I started 'teaching' when I was a group fitness instructor back in 2006. Then in 2016, I was a teaching assistant for the veterinary anatomy first year labs, as well as the veterinary physiology labs. I don't really enjoy lecturing and talking at a large group, but those small groups of students in the first year vet labs are awesome. The students are there to learn, and I love that!

Are people really reading this blog to learn something?? Thank-you to those of you who have been. I also highly appreciate those of you who have sent me encouraging words! I can say, that my early days of trying to VLOG were a bit of a bust. I am just not that great with video content. The bonus about written form is it is easily edited.

Many people are struggling with anxiety. The future is unknown. People are losing their jobs. The market is crashing and retired folks are losing their retirement savings. When we don't know what our fate is, we are afraid. So many people will struggle to pay for rent, to keep food on their tables, and it's days like these that I can be thankful that I have not been laid off from my job. I can also be thankful that I live in a country like Canada, where I can feel supported if I do.

My hopes and dreams are not completely shattered. They are just taking a break. I have to focus on redirecting my energy to find fulfillment elsewhere, since I am not pregnant, nor am I in pursuit of my passion to specialize. There are other things I can work on at home in isolation. I have another article to complete from my Master's work. I have ideas for my next research project that I can start writing a proposal for. I have a few more cases from work that I can write about as well. I have a ton of reading that I need to catch up on. I just want to feel like a productive member of society. I also want to feel happy.

Here’s a recent article on mental health awareness in veterinary medicine.

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