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Navigating Mental Health as a Groom

As grooms, we devote our life and attention to providing and caring for horses. But with May being Mental Health Awareness Month, it is important to also remember to care for yourself. Jiliann Miller gives tips on how to handle grooming while in the midst of mental health challenges.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Keeping your own mental health in check will transfer over to your workplace and having happier and healthier horses. I’ve compiled a list of tips on being a groom while navigating through mental health challenges. 

  1. Talk to your employer and keep them aware of what’s going on. You don’t need to go into detail, but just a mention of “Hey, I have some personal things going on right now that might make my work a little slower. Or I might seem a little off at times, but I’m just working through some things.”
  2. Take time off if you need. It’s important to rest when you’re struggling. If you’re not sleeping or eating well, you aren’t able to take care of the horses to your best ability. It can also turn into a safety issue. 
  3. Self-care. Take time out of your busy schedule to do something for yourself. Your horses get doted on all day every day, there’s no reason you don’t deserve the same! Book a spa day (or create an at home spa!), spend a couple hours shopping, cook yourself a meal, go for a walk. 
  4. Find a therapist, doctor, etc., who you trust to have conversations with about what’s going on and how to fix it. HorseGrooms has great resources for finding medical professionals.

If you find your mental health is declining due to job stress, it’s OK to leave and find a new job. Your happiness and well-being is priority, and if you’re not happy somewhere it’s not worth staying regardless the pay, experiences, etc.

All the work HorseGrooms and the IGA have been doing to help and support grooms is amazing. Allowing grooms to have a voice to say what needs to change and be worked on is very important.

Photo courtesy of Eva van den Adel.

May 11, 2024

Jiliann Miller 🇺🇲

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