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New resource focuses on well-being during COVID-19

ADimensions of well-being during COVID-19 -  Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph new resource focused on well-being during COVID-19 rolled out last week at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). 

Focused on the eight domains of well-being – emotional, social, intellectual, environmental, physical, financial, occupational and spiritual – the Well-being during COVID-19 resource provides ideas that anyone can adapt for their own use in each of the areas. 

The idea for the resource originated during the OVC’s Resilience Rotation for fourth-year Doctor of Veterinary Medicine students earlier in March. 

This one-week elective rotation involves well-being and resilience instruction in an experiential learning format. 

“Instead of brainstorming well-being activities during “normal times”, the students and I decided to create a list of activities that could be done within COVID restrictions,” says OVC professor Andria Jones-Bitton who led the March rotation. “The list took on a life of its own from there, as so many individuals and organizations are sharing great ideas for well-being.” 

Jones-Bitton is a faculty member in OVC’s Department of Population Medicine and also Director of Well-Being Programming at OVC. In this role, Jones-Bitton provides well-being expertise founded on a deep understanding of current literature, focused training, and knowledge of emerging trends. She also has a strong research platform focused on the mental health of veterinarians, veterinary students and farmers in Canada.

The resource is based around Peggy Swarbrick’s Model of Wellness ( This is a terrific resource for those who may be looking to learn more, notes Jones-Bitton. 

“These are tough days when we’ve had to make significant changes professionally and personally, in a very short period of time, while also attending to our feelings around the pandemic,” says Jones-Bitton. 

While the resource offers activities in each of the eight domains of well-being, Jones-Bitton adds it’s important to note it is not necessary to attend to all domains at once, or to do all the proposed activities. Instead, she suggests choosing activities that most appeal to the individual and make small changes within each person’s control. 

“It is essential that we be compassionate with ourselves during the process,” she adds. “Whatever we are able to do is great, regardless of the size of the change. Even small changes can be very powerful! They can induce feelings of positivity, personal control, and a sense of agency – and small changes can add up to something really impactful.”

The resource was unveiled on OVC’s Instagram on April 1, 2020 with a game of gratitude ping-pong. Watch for new installments each Wednesday to celebrate and encourage well-being. 

Special thanks to the following students for their contributions: Alison Brennan, Jacqueline Brooks, Aime Brown, Werdah Iqbal, Clarissa O’Sullivan, Andrea Patterson, Alyssa Rice, and Salomon Schroeter and to the talented Dr. Alex Sawatzky for her incredible artistic design and drawings.

TODAY: Join the OVC Virtual Lunchtime Talk - Wellness Wednesday - featuring OVC Alum and Veterinary Coach, Leann Benedetti

Wednesday, April 15, 2020
LIVE on @OntVetCollege Instagram
12:30- 1:30 PM EST

Guest Speaker: OVC’96 Alumna
Leann Benedetti DVM, ACC, ATC, BSc
Experienced Veterinarian, Certified Professional Coach, Educator, Mentor, Advocate for Veterinary Wellness