Stressed? Create and maintain a health balance

Prioritizing the demands of work and your personal life can often lead to stress, unhappiness and reduced productivity. While stress can sometimes help us perform under pressure and motivate us to do our best, there are real physical and mental consequences associated with chronic stress.

eating lunch at a deskIn the dental office, you may face various stressors. Handling patients, performing intricate procedures or managing tons of paperwork on a daily basis could all lead to increased levels of stress.

There are a variety of steps you can take to reduce both your overall stress levels and the stress you find on the job and in the workplace, according to the ADA Center Professional Success. These include:

  • Track your time. Pay attention to your daily tasks, including work-related and personal activities. Decide what’s necessary and what satisfies you the most. Cut or delegate activities that are unnecessary or can be completed by other members of your staff.
  • Leave work at work. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time.
  • Manage your time. Organize household tasks efficiently, such as running errands in batches or doing a load of laundry every day, rather than saving it all for your day off. Put family events on a weekly family calendar and keep a daily to-do list. Do what needs to be done and let the rest go.
  • Bolster your support system. At work, join forces with co-workers who can cover for you — and vice versa — when family conflicts arise. At home, enlist trusted friends and loved ones to pitch in with child care or household responsibilities when you need to work overtime or travel.
  • Eat right and sleep well. Eat a healthy diet, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy.
  • Develop an appointment schedule that best suits you. Most of us go through the day using a “push through” approach, thinking if we work the full eight to 10 hours, we’ll get more done. Instead, productivity goes down, stress levels go up and you have very little energy left over for your family. Schedule a break throughout the day to walk, stretch or just relax.
  • Influence others. If you notice that a patient is anxious or fearful about a procedure, tell them you understand and instruct them to breath with you. Bringing down their anxiety levels will allow you to be at ease during the procedure.

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