Take a mindful minute—the data backs it up


In honor of the first annual Practice Manager Appreciation Week (November 14–18), we’re giving a shout out to all the dedicated veterinary practice managers making sure our teams are supported, our clients stay happy, our hospitals stay afloat, and the light bulb gets replaced in the doohickey in Exam Room 3.  

Veterinary practice managers have to be good at a lot of things: Communicating, delegating, problem-solving, and spreadsheeting are just a start. But in the crush of a busy day at a vet practice, how does a multitasking manager keep from losing their cool?

In her episode of Central Line: The AAHA Podcast, Patty Casebolt, chief operating officer at Medical Eye Center and certified mindfulness/meditation facilitator, offers up some actionable tips— for practice managers, veterinary teams, and anyone else who knows they need some help hitting reset during the day.

Check out these ideas for what Patty calls “micro-moments of mindfulness.” Try to incorporate some or all of these throughout your day—or better yet, try them with your team.

  • Set an intention (not a goal—intentions are open-ended and nonjudgmental) for the day as soon as you wake up. Maybe, “I’ll create micro-moments of mindfulness today.”
  • Eat breakfast mindfully—No phone, no TV, no eating in the car. Use all your senses to experience the smells, textures, and tastes of your food and drink.
  • Take a different route to work.
  • Breathe into your belly at red lights and pay attention to your breaths until the light turns green.
  • Try a walking meditation from your car to the door of the practice. How is your foot meeting the ground? How is your weight shifting? Take note of five new things on the way from the parking lot into the building.
  • When you pass through a door—into the hospital, into your house, even into an exam room—pause and check in with your mind (What are my thoughts?), your body (What sensations are present?), and your heart (What am I feeling?).
  • Take a break to connect your mind and body, even if it means locking yourself in the bathroom for 60 seconds to allow yourself to reset.

Catch the rest of Patty’s episode “Mindfulness for People Who Hate that Word,” which aired June 14, 2022, anywhere you get your podcasts, including Apple, Spotify, and Stitcher; on YouTube; or find links to all of these platforms, full audio and video, and transcripts to every episode at aaha.org/podcast

This episode was made possible with generous support from our friends at CareCredit

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Photo credit: © shaunl E+ via Getty Images Plus