Liz Somerville, Practice Manager and Director of an equine practice, Mum to two gorgeous boys and wife to an equine vet, shares her methods and tips for practising self-care.
What does self-care mean to you?
Practice Managers spend a huge amount of their time looking after everyone else in their team. One day not that long ago someone asked me “who looked after me?”. It was one of those light bulb moments when I realised that to be the Mum, Wife, Practice Manager and Leader that I want to be, I need to look after myself. For me self-care is about being ‘responsibly selfish’ so that I can be that person and am able to not just cope with life’s challenges but actively enjoy them.
How do you practice self-care?
Time out with my horse is incredibly important to me, it gives me the head space away from the demands of a busy life and is something I’m passionate about. Being out in the fresh air walking my dog also helps immensely. I spend 15 minutes at the start and end of each day writing a gratitude diary and either planning and reviewing my day that helps me focus on the positive things in my life and my achievements.
What are your tell-tale signs that you need to take care of yourself?
I quite quickly start feeling that I can’t cope and have far too much to do. I start over analysing small problems and will jump to the worse case scenario. At it’s worse I have felt anxious and panicky which is when I know I need to make some changes.
What do you do when you need a pick me up?
Turn off my computer and either go and ride my horse or go and see my best friend for a cuppa and a chat. As I’ve got older sleep is much more important and I make a big effort to get some early nights!
What are your wellbeing words of wisdom?
Be responsibly selfish….. to be the person our children, partners and colleagues need us to be we have to look after ourselves first. Sleep (aim for 7-9 hours a night), eat well, exercise, spend time with friends and loved ones and do things that make you happy.
What’s your favourite inspirational quote?
‘Balance is not something you find, it’s something you create’ – Jana Kingsford
Liz Somerville is a Practice Manager and Director of an equine practice, Mum to two gorgeous boys and wife to an equine vet. Liz is passionate about wellbeing, and the growth and development of every member of the practice team. You can follow Liz's journey at www.notjustavetswife.co.uk for an open and honest account of life as a veterinary practice manager.