Daisy Greenwood, 35, is a veterinarian who works at a practice in Bath, UK. She lives with her rescue mongrel Betty, who she adopted from a local animal charity www.heartrescue.org.uk.
I have a care circle around me at work.
In this job, you are dealing with very emotional situations and looking after pets who are family members to people. We’re quite a small practice of vets and we’re like a family ourselves, so I’m lucky in that respect. There is always someone to talk to, so you don’t take things home with you. You need that care circle of people at work who understand the job, otherwise your friends can get bored of hearing stressful vet stories!
I accept my emotions.
There are moments of having to put animals to sleep, sometimes several a day. Although you know that you’re doing the right thing and that you’re keeping an animal’s dignity intact by preventing them from suffering, you also need to acknowledge that it’s sad. We need to feel things to keep our instincts, which are especially important in a clinical job. I think we can feel that it’s inappropriate to get sad or get upset about something, but it’s good to experience sad emotions, as well as the happy ones.
I have comfortable footwear.
It might sound really simple, but when you’re on your feet all day as I am, it’s fundamental that you have good, supportive shoes. I also do Pilates for my back and have regular treatments. We look after the mind a lot more now which is great, but we need to look after our bodies. I see mine as a tool to do my job well – I want to keep it strong and well maintained.
I make time for play.
I play in a community orchestra and choir called The Fantasy Orchestra (www.fantasyorchestra.org).
We play in fancy dress and cover a big variety of music. I always make sure I go to the rehearsal every week and build it into my life, even if I can’t make all of the gigs because of work. I play the bass clarinet and it’s about deep breathing and using my brain in a totally different way. The other members are a joyful and irreverent bunch of people – when you’ve got a job as serious as mine, it’s good to spend time with them. The gigs are always great – each has a different theme. I recently had to nd a giant sh costume for an underwater one! It’s important to remember that it’s not just kids who have all the fun.