That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane, in conversation with Caitriona Higgins, Reiki & Sound Healing Practitioner, Ceremonial Cacao & Yoni Steaming Facilitator and Paula Sanfey, Life & Empowerment coach, NLP & EFT practitioner, Clinical Hypnotherapist, TIME Techniques Practitioner & Reiki Practitioner.
“Caitriona worked as an RVN (registered veterinary nurse) for 20 years, and Paula worked as an RVN for 15 years. When it felt time to hang up our stethoscopes, each of us moved independently into the holistic and wellness industry.
Paula is a life and empowerment coach and reiki practitioner, and Caitriona is a reiki and sound healing practitioner.
Veterinary Wellness Vibes
We set up Veterinary Wellness Vibes in 2022 as a result of burnout – from our careers and in our personal lives. We wanted to speak to the veterinary community and the challenges that come with the profession.
Also, we wanted to bring in the wellness aspect, which we believe is so important. Caitriona came up with Veterinary Vibes, and then Paula came up with wellness, as it describes what we are all about.
We were so disconnected from our own bodies and lives that we experienced burnout, and we worked together in the same practice for ten years, working all the hours under the sun and helping grow the business, but we needed to experience burnout from our personal lives and careers to start our own healing journeys.
And now it has become a way of life. We are so passionate about helping others with their own health and well-being.
We feel mental health awareness is in all jobs, not just in the veterinary community. But we understand it is a huge issue in the vet community.
We want to help with self-awareness and address mental health challenges by teaching the veterinary community tools or techniques that can be part of their everyday life so that their days are a little easier to cope with in life and at work.
The long hours that impact your physical and emotional health impact vet professional’s mental health the most.
The grief and sadness throughout your day impact your central nervous system more than they may realise.
Poor mental health and well-being
Poor mental health and well-being is a subject that is just not discussed enough within the veterinary industry.
There is still a stigma around mental health. We feel it is as much a part of wellness as physical health.
We think there needs to be a more open discourse about this as we are all too aware of the number of veterinary professionals who have sadly lost their lives to suicide.
It is time for wellness to be as much a part of CPD as clinical veterinary topics are.
Every vet professional’s mental health will affect every area of their life – work and personal. Within the working environment, it can impact their mood, their decision-making, their actions and, of course, their relationships with both colleagues and clients.
A more open discourse on mental health and education is needed, particularly to let clients know the reality of veterinary life – the challenges that come with it.
There are a lot of assumptions about ‘being in it for the money’ that need to be dispelled.
We want to teach tools, techniques, and a way of life to help with stress levels so that they can be incorporated into their everyday life so that they are in a much more resilient, grounded and calmer state of mind and in their bodies.
We would love to offer in-person training for this as we feel we can support other veterinary professionals.
So far, we have run a virtual workshop which was a great success. We want to encourage veterinary leaders/management to support their employees – not just talk the talk, but actually, walk the walk and make wellness a part of their employees’ workday too.
- Get enough sleep;
- Get out into nature;
- Eat a healthy diet;
- Do energy work on your body to release stress and tension;
- Then, bring the body back to a more rest state of calm;
- Morning mindset and having a morning routine to raise your vibrations;
- Start your day more in control, feeling less tired and check in with your own body throughout the day.
Helping the veterinary community with wellness
Our desire is to bring awareness and provide tools and techniques to help the veterinary community with their wellness, and you can find us on Instagram and Facebook under the Veterinary Wellness Vibes handle on both social media platforms.
This work is a way of life for us both now, so we each incorporate different modalities into our daily life.
Caitriona sits with cacao daily, and this helps her to connect within. Equally, Paula is a huge advocate of meditation and something she does daily.
We both love being in nature and outdoors too. There are so many habits that everyone can build that cost nothing but the time you are willing to put into them.
We have done so much inner work and personal development, and although it is not always easy, it is so worth it.
We all deserve to live a beautiful and fulfilling life. Between us, we have so much knowledge and tools that we want to teach within the veterinary community as we know, from experience, they are much needed.”
To share your story, email – [email protected]