It is said that the one who has experienced the mountains as well as the valleys of life, is the one who will skilfully and empathically guide others with loving authority.
John Bonnici is a veterinary student at the University of Queensland, he is scheduled to graduate in 2020, but this almost wasn’t the case. Part way through his vet school journey John noticed that something wasn’t quite right; physically he was fit and healthy, but on the inside a battle was being waged for his emotional health. He had always been a fighter, a visionary; but this battle was not only consuming his entrepreneurial heart but also his dream of becoming a veterinarian.
John was suffering from burnout. An illness that can take down even the strongest of warriors. As a definition ‘burnout’ is classed as mental, physical or emotional exhaustion – a constant feeling of being overwhelmed or emotionally drained. Thankfully, John recognised the signs and through bravery laced with humility he chose to take a year off from his degree.
“It was a year of self-discovery, of, as silly as it may sound, discovering how I could best love and look after myself.” John told us as he reflected on the life changing gap year which enabled him to recharge his emotional batteries and renew his passion for both people and animals.
John is now advocate for self-care within the veterinary world and beyond. He volunteers his time as a university mentor within the University of Queensland Mentoring Network. He is also the co-founder of Yogitation: A program in which through yoga, meditation, connectedness and mindfulness encapsulates selfcare at its core. The program is quickly gaining popularity amongst both students and staff of the university, and will not only be an imprinted legacy that John will leave behind after graduation, but a projected glimpse of a veterinary business model which holds holistic self-care and animal health as its mandate.
If you would like any further information in relation to Yogitation or the UQ Mentoring Network please feel free to contact John directly – firstname.lastname@example.org
To see Dr Emma’s interview with our self-care guru John Bonnici please see the link below:
Introduction Author: Tanya Middleton, Veterinary Careers Team