Tips for dentists who struggle with work-life balance

Attaining work-life balance in dentistry does not have to be a difficult task. This is especially true if you own your practice because it allows you to schedule patient appointments at convenient times. That being said, finding a balance can be difficult if you’re dealing with other life situations, such as starting a family, making time for older kids’ busy schedules or taking care of aging parents. In addition, if your practice is new or you are an employee or an associate, you may have to work longer hours to make ends meet. Often a second job is also part of the consideration.

meditateAll of this can challenge your ability to juggle work and home commitments. If you’re feeling stressed, take some time to step back from your life and see what you can do to strike a balance between the two, including taking a little time for yourself.

According to the ADA Center for Professional Success, here are some things you can do if your work and personal life are stressing you out.

Taking time to clear your head each day is important, whether that means going for a walk, reading a book or just closing your door for a few minutes to enjoy the solitude.

You can also take a more pro-active approach to how you schedule your day. For example:

  • The Mayo Clinic offers a variety of tips for work-life balance, including tracking your time, learning to say no and adding to your support system.
  • On the Understanding Chronic Stress page on apa.org, the American Psychological Association says: “Taking one small step to reduce your stress and improve your emotional health, such as going on a daily walk, can have a beneficial effect. Being active is a small but powerful change you can make to manage stress.”
  • In 3 Tips for Achieving Your Work/Life Balance at Forbes.com, a specific challenge is presented and followed by tips to help you conquer that issue in your own life.
  • Salary.com offers a longer list — 14 Steps to Achieving Work-Life Balance — that includes how to set priorities, schedule one thing to look forward to each day and evaluate your life on a regular basis.

With a little planning and a commitment to the goals you create, you’ll be closer to achieving the work-life balance you seek, even in the midst of trying times. In the words of Albert Einstein: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” What opportunities do you see that could help you achieve balance in your life?

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