The Well-Being Buddy Blog

#WellBeingWednesday – Guest Blog Featuring Leah Parris of Southern Meridian Veterinary Consulting

This week I am excited to welcome our next guest blogger: Leah Parris, Owner and Principal Consultant of Southern Meridian Veterinary Consulting!

Leah has worked in veterinary medicine for over 17 years and now owns and operates her own consultation company, which is dedicated to empowering organizations by specializing in the development of practice managers and enhancing employee support, with a dedicated focus on mental health and self-care! We appreciate Leah taking the time to share her knowledge with us and contributing to this special guest feature!

Melyssa: Thanks so much for being here with us today Leah, we are so grateful to have you joining us! I love starting off this interview series by asking our guests, what current habits do you have to support your well-being as a veterinary professional?
I enjoy redirecting my mental energy towards activities that shift my focus away from negativity and work. Solving puzzles has proven to be an effective method for me. I’ve also explored crafting hobbies like jewelry making and creating epoxy/resin artwork. I’m passionate about weightlifting, as it not only boosts endorphins but also helps me stay physically active! I highly suggest trying rage rooms or engaging in axe throwing as outlets for releasing pent-up intrusive feelings.

Hobbies and activities outside of the work environment are such a great way to reenergize ourselves! I’ve definitely been experimenting more with crafting and have been wanting to try the resin art! I’m curious what other tips would you like to share with other vet pros about prioritizing self-care and well-being?
I have so many things I want share here but I’ll try to keep it to a reasonable amount!

  • Set boundaries
  • Take regular breaks (lunch breaks and PTO)
  • Incorporate mindfulness techniques, like journaling or meditation
  • Find hobbies out side of work (gardening, going to concerts, etc.)
  • Surround yourself with a strong support network of colleagues, friends, and family members who understand the unique challenges of veterinary work
  • Prioritize self compassion and physical health (eat healthy, stay hydrated, exercise regularly and get an adequate amount of sleep)

Those are such fantastic reminders! It sounds like you’ve personally experience the benefits of those and I’m sure it comes up frequently in the work you do too. We know that veterinary medicine is currently facing numerous challenges and there may be a vet pro reading this right now that is going through a difficult time…what words of encouragement would you like to share with those readers right now?
Stay resilient, lean on your support network, and never underestimate the impact of your work. Take time to prioritize your well-being, and know that your efforts are deeply valued and appreciated. You’re making a difference, one paw print at a time!

Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
“Life has no remote. Get up and change it yourself.” – Mark A. Cooper

Thank you so much for sharing those helpful tips and words with our Buddies! If people would like to know more about you and the work you do, where can they connect with you?

Leah’s professional journey in the veterinary field spans over 15 years, commencing with her academic pursuits in animal science at Auburn University. She holds a state veterinary technician licensure and is a Certified Veterinary Practice Manager. Her contributions extend to authored articles for esteemed veterinary publications and the receipt of the 2022 Emerging Leader Scholarship from the Veterinary Hospital Management Association. Dedicated to promoting mental health and wellness within the veterinary community, Leah is a Certified Compassion Fatigue Professional. She coaches veterinary professionals towards achieving optimal work-life balance and is a recently accredited RACE approved speaker on pertinent topics. In May 2023, she co-founded the Not One More Vet Georgia Chapter, furthering her commitment to supporting colleagues.

Following a thyroid cancer diagnosis, Leah transitioned her focus to entrepreneurship, founding Southern Meridian Veterinary Consulting. Through this venture, she offers coaching, consulting, and relief coverage services to veterinary professionals, leveraging her expertise to give back to the community. Outside her professional endeavors, Leah and her husband savor lake life on Lake Lanier with their toy poodle, Lily, and two turtles, Sydney and L2. She enjoys reading, strength training, exploring new culinary experiences, and cherishing moments with her beloved four-legged companions.

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