As any seasoned vet student knows well, the threat of burnout is always on the horizon and all too often it hits us out of nowhere! Everything is great and then something tips the scales and it feels like you can’t go on. So how can you fight the burnout? There may be no 100% effective preventative, but here are some tips that I have found helpful.
Have a life! “What?!?!” you say, having a life in vet school is impossible! It is a challenge to make time for anything besides meetings, classes, and studying, but it is important. Find a way to make time to do something outside of school. Spend time with friends, a significant other, pursue a hobby, or volunteer to get outside of the vet school world.
Prevent the burnout! This isn’t always possible, but there are steps that you can take. The first step would be to not give yourself more than you can handle. This isn’t easy with all of the opportunities that are available in vet school, but try to restrain yourself. Another step I have found useful is not to get behind in your classes. Take the time to study and keep ahead on notes so that you don’t get 3 days before every test and realize you have to cram. That takes a serious mental, emotional, and physical toll after a while.
Take care of yourself! Try (try being the key word) to eat healthy, get a reasonable amount of sleep, exercise occasionally, and at the very least take your vitamins. Your physical wellbeing is just as important as your mental state.
Have a support group! It is so important to have that friend or family member that you can call at any time to vent to. This person knows that you chose this career and fate, yet they don’t remind you of it when you are complaining about how rough it is at the moment. One of my best friends from undergrad is this person for me and she is always there for me no matter what the circumstance and that can make all the difference.
Fighting burnout can be a challenge, but it is something many vet students struggle with and it is manageable with the right support.