UNLEASHED (at work & home) with Colleen Pelar
Breath - Your Hidden Superpower

Breath - Your Hidden Superpower

January 23, 2020

Would you like an easy way to get more energy when you need it? How about a way to relax and unwind more quickly?

Listen in to learn an incredibly simple strategy that will help you manage your energy and your emotions better.


Vicarious Trauma - Leslie Stewart

Vicarious Trauma - Leslie Stewart

January 16, 2020

Burnout is normal—and fixable

  • Have you had the “Sunday night feeling,” the stomach-sinking realization that your break is over and it’s time to go back to work?
  • Have you become less patient and less interested in other people’s needs?
  • Do other people’s choices leave you feeling irritable or cynical?
  • Have you started making dumb mistakes? Letting things fall through the cracks that ordinarily you’d catch
  • Have you felt isolated? Had the sense that everyone’s counting on you, but no one really cares about how you’re holding up?
  • Does it feel like whatever you do is never enough?
  • Do you find yourself unable to leave work at work?
  • Are you replaying situations in your head long after they’re over? Do people tell you you need to “let it go?” 

If you answered yes to some of these questions, it’s likely you’ve experienced a period of professional burnout.

Leslie Stewart, PhD, LPC, says this is completely normal and to be expected.

Really. It’s normal. And expected.

In fact, most helping professionals (counselors, doctors, nurses, firefighters, social workers, and, yes, pet professionals) will have a few bouts of professional burnout in their careers.

Well, that’s good news and bad news.

The good news is that there are lots of helpful strategies you can use to set yourself up for success. You may not be able to completely avoid periods of struggle, but knowing what to look for and when to intervene will put you way ahead of the curve.

Visit https://colleenpelar.com/62 for the show notes and to download the Professional Quality of Life Scale, Self-Care Assessment, and recommended wellness activities.

Want to feel like you have more time? Volunteer!

Want to feel like you have more time? Volunteer!

January 9, 2020

When you are exhausted or burned out, it may come as a surprise to learn that volunteering your time and energy can be one of the very best ways to get your mojo back. It's counter-intuitive, but true.

Studies have shown that volunteering increases your empathy, builds social bonds, and leads to greater happiness. In fact, people who volunteer feel like they have more time than people who don't (even when they have the same demands on their time).


Organization - Jamie Holms, RVT

Organization - Jamie Holms, RVT

January 2, 2020

Jamie Holms, RVT, says her extraordinary organizational skills are a coping strategy that developed during a traumatic childhood. Quite simply, she learned to control as many factors as she could to help her deal with all of the chaos and stress she faced daily.

Today those organizational skills make her a valued team member and help her accomplish her goals. 

Coping strategies are interesting. We all have them. We all need them. Some are healthy and productive, others are not, but all of them spring from a place of self-protection.

The tricky part about coping strategies is that they often have their roots in childhood. You may not be aware of what you do to help yourself manage stress or deal with overwhelm because you’ve been doing it for so long that the behaviors are on autopilot. You may not even notice when you’re using them.

Jamie had to make deliberate choices and learn new strategies to ensure that she brings forth the best of her coping skills and leaves behind the elements that no longer serve her.

Developing the self-awareness to observe your behavior and make deliberate choices about it is quite simply the most powerful, life-changing skill ever. It allows you to explore new ways of being, to find what feels right and true for you, and to make deliberate choices about how you want to live your life.

Easier said than done, right? Absolutely. There’s a learning curve here, but it’s worth it. So worth it.

And this awesome discussion with Jamie Holms is filled with practical tips to get you started.


Resources mentioned in this episode:

Note: I may earn a small commission on any books or products recommended on this page. I only include products my guest or I have used and recommend. UNLEASHED (at work & home) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

Using rules as a tool for exploration

Using rules as a tool for exploration

December 25, 2019

Exploration is something that most of us think is a good idea in theory, but we don’t do it.

The estimates vary, but neuroscientists and psychologists agree that large chunks of human behavior are merely habits and patterns. The low estimates are 40%. Some estimates go as high as 80-90% of behavior is just on autopilot.

That’s good because it makes us efficient, but it doesn’t necessarily make us happy.

That’s where rules come in. You can create your own rules to spark creativity and exploration, to create new opportunities, and to discover new things about yourself. 

Exploration - Sheila Newenham

Exploration - Sheila Newenham

December 19, 2019

Sheila Newenham, DVM, talked with Colleen Pelar about exploration. The whole world is waiting for you. Where do you want to go? What do you want to see? What can you learn from being open to new experiences? www.colleenpelar.com/55

Working through Worries to Make a Decision

Working through Worries to Make a Decision

December 12, 2019

The Worst-Case/Best-Case/Mostly Likely Framework is a way of facing and addressing worries.

Your brain is wired to notice everything that could potentially go wrong. Often this can lead to crippling indecision, high anxiety, and catastrophic thinking. It leaves you feeling stuck.

This tool helps you

  • Recognize the extreme unlikelihood of your worst-case scenario fears by providing an equally extreme counterpoint in the opposite direction.
  • Become more aware of the negativity bias so that you are better able to make real-time adjustments in your thinking
  • Use humor and positivity to create a broader, more creative thinking
  • More accurately assess the outcomes of possible your choices so you can make decisions based on logic, not anxiety

A big thank you to Alicia Obando of Pitter Patter Parenting in Chicago for helping me demonstrate this tool. 

Reinvention - Karen Sinovich

Reinvention - Karen Sinovich

December 5, 2019

Is there something you’ve been longing to do? What would give you the courage to dive in? Karen Sinovich, an animal behavior practitioner, shared thoughts about reinvention. You have only one life, but that doesn’t mean you need to have only one passion. www.colleenpelar.com/56

BONUS: Learning to give grace to yourself and others

BONUS: Learning to give grace to yourself and others

November 28, 2019

"Grace" is a complicated word. It conjures images of elegance, finesse, and fluidity. It's endowed with goodwill, kindness, and generosity.

Grace sounds effortless, but it's not! Grace is an active decision.

Developing requires great self-awareness. Grace asks you to accept the reality of the moment just as it is, while also looking for the good in it now and the good that can come from it.

Learning how to give yourself and others grace opens you up to stronger relationships and greater resilience. https://colleenpelar.com/grace-julie-smith

BONUS: Tips for developing your grit

BONUS: Tips for developing your grit

November 28, 2019

Understanding the elements of grit can help veterinarians, vet techs, dog trainers, shelter/rescue teams, and other pet professionals find the energy and drive to keep going AND get better results.

This solocast is the companion to episode 52 of the UNLEASHED (at work & home) podcast in which Dr. Erik Hofmeister and I discussed grit. https://colleenpelar.com/grit-erik-hofmeister