Dentists do not merely carry out dental procedures. They regularly face the strain of perfectionism, deal with patient anxiety, maintain exceptional patience, manage the employees, keep a check on payments and the list of tasks goes on!
Dentistry has been identified as a highly stressful profession with studies indicating about 82.7 per cent of dentists are moderately or severely stressed. Interacting with clients of a wide variety makes them prone to emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Additionally, maintaining a work-life balance can cause complete burnout. An unhealthy dentist cannot be sufficiently productive. Therefore, it’s crucial that you as a dentist get your stress in check before providing treatment to others.
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Tips to Reduce Stress for Dentists
Here are 5 tips when rightly followed will help you tackle stress and give exceptional service!
1. Talk to someone
Being a part of the medical profession, you must be aware of how critical it is to take care of your mental health. If you don’t get over your stress, the stress will get over you. It is not something that will resolve over time. Stress needs immediate attention, especially if you are a professional working to help others attain perfect health. A stressed-out dentist can commit grave mistakes when operating or might not be able to deliver quality treatment. Therefore, it’s primarily recommended that if you face stress, talk it out to someone. It could be a friend, relative, family member or even a counselor. Getting a new and fresh perspective will help you deal with stress in a better manner. Always remember asking for help isn’t a weakness, it is a sign that you value your profession and yourself. So don’t hold yourself back; speak out!
2. Take care of your body
It can’t be stressed enough how interconnected the body and mind are. As it is popularly quoted “A sound body keeps a sound mind”. It is understood that your profession calls for a packed-up schedule. You need to adhere to the needs of several patients but ensure you don’t leave yourself behind. Incorporate healthy habits into your routine like a proper healthy diet, regular exercise, meditation and so on. Make a deal with yourself that you will always take care of your body and never skip on healthy habits no matter how immersive and tedious work gets.
3. Incorporate the use of automated tools in your clinic so you are prepared beforehand
Usage of automated tools in your dental office can streamline several processes altogether. It’s like having an all-in-one magic wand that helps you fulfill most needs of yours. One of the best ways to reduce stress is to avoid the instances that could cause it! Being well-prepared beforehand is the right way to do so. If you have everything in place, are organized and prepared for come what may; you’ll reduce the chances of stress by leaps and bounds. Dental billing software combines a system of text messages, automated calls and emails along with auto invoicing and payments, which help you to keep track of your functioning; thereby keeping you organized.
4. Set boundaries between work and life
This is crucial for every profession. Every person should be able to set strict boundaries between work and life. But this is especially difficult when your work involves helping others and taking care of them. It can be difficult to switch over but make sure you do this as a duty towards yourself. Once you’re off work; as far as possible avoid being exposed to things related to work. Keep away your emails and phone texts and give yourself a break lest you fall prey to burnout. Remember a few hours of rest off work can rejuvenate you and help you be more productive.
5. Avoid picking up on unhealthy habits
It is commonly observed that stressed people pick up on unhealthy habits very easily. A few of these habits include smoking, drinking alcohol, craving caffeine and so on. All of these can be pretty relaxing when undergoing stress. Remember; the relief is only momentary; none of these is going to keep you well for the long term. So, you might want to seek comfort in these habits but they will only make things worse.
Drinking might make you feel relaxed at night but being a depressant, it will cause disruption in sleep and cause fatigue the next morning. Caffeine might instantly boost you up but it increases the secretion of adrenaline and dopamine, which post initial rush, can make you feel greater tiredness and stress. Additionally, caffeine causes an increase in cortisol, which restricts the absorption of adenosine which calms the body. Caffeine definitely takes away your sleep but think again; is that really good?
If you want to treat others; treat yourself first. Work carried out with stress will never be good enough. You can’t reach the highest level of efficiency unless you are relaxed. You need to deal with anxious patients and help them face their fears, and this won’t be possible without you having stellar mental health. Manage your time and prioritize yourself; you’ll notice how tasks are easier when you are well-rested. Lastly, avoid internalizing patient anxiety, take frequent breaks and never hesitate to seek professional aid