Are You Slipping Or Sailing?

If you feel like you're out to sea, flailing about, you're not alone. Here's what to do!

Posted: 15/08/2023

Read Time/Watch Time

5 minutes

Who should read this?

Veterinarians, vet nurses, vet techs, employers.


Melanie Barham


Global content

Are you Slipping or Sailing?

Slow your scroll to take a moment to assess

I read an interesting report from the Mom Project that reported on the challenges of summer childcare and logistical juggling for working parents, and particularly moms.  

Workplaces in summer are often short staffed, and none more than vet businesses with a shortage of veterinary professionals.  Overwork is a common complaint, or coverage and staffing.

I have to ask: are you sailing on calm waters right now?  

Or do you feel like you’re floundering around without a life jacket in rough seas?  

If you’re sailing on calm seas without a care in the world, I’d love to know what helped make it stress free and smooth for you.  Tell me all the things!

If you’re more in the floundering/drowning category, here’s 5 questions to ask yourself to “coach yourself”.  If you’re overwhelmed, please just pick one.  (Overachievers, I see you… just pick one!)

  1.  What’s one thing that you could do today to help make your day easier right now?

Maybe this is a quick walk, a meditation, or a simple grounding exercise (5 things you can see, 5 things you can touch, 5 things you can hear).

2. What is one item you could offload or say no to right now?

NOT picking up groceries tonight.  

3. Who or how can you ask for help with one small thing?

This doesn’t even have to be asking a person for something. Sometimes getting the help you need is ordering dinner in/getting takeout, or doing click and collect groceries.  

4. What’s one thing that’s brought you joy in the past 24 hours?

If you’re on the churn of overwhelm and flailing, this is one thing I’d pick to do.  For me, one day when I was utterly exhausted and could see no good in the world, I challenged myself to find one joyful thing.  It was my little boy smiling at me, and feeling warm sun on my face as I walked to feed my animals.  It didn’t stop the surrounding chaos, but it calmed and centred me.

5. If I could imagine myself being past this time, maybe 6 months down the road, what would be different?

This helps us see what is possible, and why this time of struggle is worth going through to get to better times. This question can also clarify what we’ll never do again.  

I see you, struggling, flailing, overwhelmed person.  I see how hard you’re working, and even if you feel like you’re failing, I guarantee most other people in your life have a different vision of how you’re doing.  Take a deep breath.  You’ll get through this, and it doesn’t always have to be this way.  

If you need support to get to career sustainability and satisfaction, we’re got life boats at the ready!  Group coaching sessions are available in North America and the UK and we have individual coaching sessions as well.  Check it out below!

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