The Value of Taking a ‘Bubble Break’ in Veterinary Medicine

Oct 16, 2019 at 1:02 pm
Kimberly Pope-Robinson

Recently, 1 Life Connected and The Bridge Club partnered to host “balloon events” at a large national veterinary conference. Even though we were attending an event with tens of thousands of veterinary professionals, it can still feel isolating. These balloon events were designed to allow people to come together and engage in activities, both individually and as a group, to overcome that feeling. The events created a space for people to connect with each other and themselves… To “fill their balloons.”

The group participated in many activities during the conference, but one true standout was the “Take a Bubble Break Balloon Event.” Here is how it worked: Get a container of bubbles, stop what you are doing, and join together to blow bubbles. It was that simple.

It was surprising to hear how much those who attended the bubbles break appreciated and enjoyed it. Why was this activity embraced so openly? Curious, we asked for feedback, and this is what the attendees shared:

  • Mindfulness — Any activity that allows for small moments of mindfulness creates a space for our brain to reset and center within our surroundings and ourselves. Stopping to enjoy some bubbles allowed for everything to stop. For that brief moment, there were just bubbles.
  • Concentration — Building off the idea of mindfulness, going through the process of stopping to focus on the act of blowing bubbles allowed us to slow down. Concentrating and focusing on the task at hand—blowing bubbles—helped to release tension and anxiety.
  • Breathing — Blowing bubbles with short, shallow breaths is extremely difficult, if not near impossible. Going through the process of taking a deep breath and focusing our attention on the wand as we exhale allowed us to focus on our breath, which helped us to reconnect with ourselves and our bodies.
  • Community — As expected, a group of people blowing bubbles in a public space attracted attention, and inspired others to join. It allowed for instant connections between strangers. Regardless of who we were, or where we came from, we connected over the bubbles we were blowing.
  • Accomplishment — As we each worked to get the technique down for blowing that perfect bubble, we all became excited to see our own bubbles, and the bubbles of others, develop. It was such a small act, yet it felt so satisfying. The act of creating a bubble allowed our brains to have a feeling of completion, which we often crave.
  • Letting go — As we allowed our air to transfer from our bodies to the soapy solution within the wand, and a bubble developed and began to float away, you could almost feel anxiety, frustration, anger, disconnection, or other negative emotions that were bothering us, float away with the bubble. Then, just as quickly as the bubble appeared, it popped, and with that the energy was released from us.

As trivial as blowing a bubble may seem, it appeared to have many positive benefits. And with that, we are throwing out a challenge to the veterinary community: Let’s all gather up some bubbles and take a moment to step outside and allow ourselves the experience of a bubble break. If you’d like, share photos of your bubble break on social media, but don’t forget to tag #takeabubblebreak. 

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Kimberly Pope-Robinson, DVM, CCFP, has served in the veterinary profession for more than 20 years, practicing in both the large- and small-animal sectors. During her career, she has also supported the position of a multi-unit manager for a large corporate practice and spent time in the pharmaceutical sector working with specialists and universities. Dr. Pope’s experience has provided her a unique understanding of the stresses involved with maintaining a career in the veterinary industry, and she now dedicates her time to providing well-being support for the profession through her company, 1 Life Connected. Dr. Pope provides support through one-on-one coaching, customized team events, and as a dynamic speaker and author. Her book, The Unspoken Life: Recognize Your Passion, Embrace Imperfection, and Stay Connectedwas published in 2018.

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