How to Achieve Optimal Health and Wellness for Dentists
As dentists, we spend all day, every day, helping our patients achieve optimal health and wellness. Meanwhile, our own may be suffering, thanks to the toll dentistry can take on even the most well-intentioned of us.
Just like we want the best for our patients, I want the best for you. We work way too hard and help way too many people to be struggling ourselves. And the good news is that optimal health and wellness doesn’t need to be complicated or take too much time.
Here are a few easy tips to follow to improve your health and achieve greater physical and mental wellness.
Practice What You Preach
How many of us remind our patients of the dangers of sugar, only to go and pick up a bottle of Sprite or a pint of Ben & Jerry’s when we make a run to the store? (It’s for the kids, we tell ourselves, or we just need a little pick-me-up at the end of a long day at the practice.)
And how many of us skip brushing our teeth to binge-watch Netflix instead or forget to floss for an entire month?
It’s easy to slip into bad habits, especially during times of stress. But it’s also pretty easy to pick up our old good habits, and to make some healthful swaps in our diet. Stay accountable by making sure everyone in your household upholds the same standards.
And if you need outside accountability help, join me in the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook group and let us know what habits you’re going to start.
Get Up and Move
There’s no getting around the fact that we’re in a hunched over position when examining patients, which can leave our back sore and our muscles tight.
Take regular breaks to do hip flexor stretches, chest stretches and thoracic extensions to relieve the pressure of awkward seating.
Planks and wall sits, meanwhile, will help strengthen your core to avoid back pain.
Maintain Your Social Life
In a time when the world is disconnected from each other through social distancing, it’s more important than ever to connect with others, however we can.
Psychology Today reports that a strong social network can help us live longer; achieve better physical health; decrease our chances of suffering from depression; and improve our memory and cognitive functioning.
At work, you can engage more with team members and ask patients more questions about their lives; at home, keep arranging those Zoom calls with friends and family members.
I know, sometimes the last thing we want to do at the end of a tough day is to engage with others. But it’s essential to improving our health. Jump in the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook group or connect with local friends so you can maintain important social connections.
Seek the Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D has gotten more than its fair share of attention lately, thanks to studies showing it may play a role in preventing the coronavirus. Sales of the supplement are up, and because it has also been linked to better bone strength, a boosted immune system, and better oral health, among other benefits, it’s a no-brainer for dentists.
We’re also stuck inside for most, if not all, of our waking hours. So instead of just popping pills, get outside for at least 20 minutes a day to soak up the rays, a natural way to get your D while also giving you more energy.
What do you do to improve your health? Join me in the Nifty Thrifty Dentists Facebook group and share your best tips, connect with others, and even inspire others to join you in incorporating healthy habits.