Being a dental assistant, hygienist or dentist can be both mentally and physically tough.
I know I don’t need to tell you but…
Hunching over patients for hours makes your back ache. Holding tiny instruments for hours makes your wrist, hands, and fingers ache. Looking at tiny things (teeth, decay, and Xrays) under harsh lights makes your eyes ache. And dealing with difficult patients makes your head ache.
There are so many great things about working in the dental field but the toll it takes on your body is not one of them. If you are going to have a long and successful career as a dental professional you have to take care of your body and mind.
In this post, we discuss the self-care that is needed to make your career thrive!
1. Invest in comfort and looking good. You are running around all day, so invest in the classy well-fitting scrubs, buy the cute and uber comfortable sneakers, protect your eyes as much as you can with Blue Light Blocking Glasses and make sure to take a quick 5 to 10 minutes to do your hair and makeup in the morning.
Looking good and feeling comfortable will do wonders for your mind and body.
2. Take care of that body! I know, I know, I know! Everyone says to exercise. But for dental hygienists, assistants and dentists doing exercises that builds core strength while stretching out all the muscles you use daily will help to improve your posture and ease your aches and pains.
Yoga and Pilates will both give you the strength, flexibility and mental calmness needed to keep your mind and body youthful well into your career.
If you have an Amazon Prime account, I swear by this free yoga video. It’s only 30 minutes and your entire body will feel so good afterward.
Throughout the day, do some simple wrist and neck stretches. These will help alleviate some of the aches your body receives from working so hard.
In addition to exercising, treating your body to regular massages, chiropractic services and assisted stretching by a professional will be the cherry on top to your well cared for body.
3. Fuel your body properly.Another thing us dental professionals tend to do is eat on the run. And convenience food is not always the healthiest.
But if you don’t have the time or energy to meal prep and incorporate a lot of greens in your diet, here are some quick and easy-to-travel-with health foods.
Fruits: Bananas, apples, peaches, and cucumbers (yes they are a fruit). All of these are all portable, yummy and super easy to eat while on the run (just beware of the super juicy peaches!).
Vegetables: Throw some broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots in a bag and munch on them throughout the day. OR drink juice (but read the label to make sure it is really juice and there isn’t any added sugar). I get the large jugs of Suja Juice from Sprouts and drink 8 oz with my eggs every morning.
Proteins: Nuts, sliced meat, and beef jerky, are portable, yummy and not filled with sugar and wasted calories like granola bars.
You can easily incorporate these feel-good foods into your busy schedule.
4. Don’t forget your mind… Learning, meditating, and having a daily affirmation to keep your mind right, is probably the most important step in the process of caring for your body.
Continuing to learn (whether that be about dentistry or something else that excites you), keeps your mind young and you interesting. You know that feeling of euphoria you get when you finally master something or how your whole mood shifts when you have an “aha moment.” That is the reason to continue learning.
Meditations and daily affirmations have been proven time after time to work. Give yourself 10+ minutes to quiet your mind every day. And find an affirmation that really speaks to you and repeat it to yourself when times get tough. These small actions will shift your mental attitude and you will start to enjoy yourself more and more.
5. Love your job The first step to loving your job is knowing that you are amazing that your career makes a difference in people’s lives. Need more convincing? Read this.
But if you are truly in a work environment that makes you unhappy, all the self-care in the world can’t help much. If you feel a change of environment will do wonders for your mental and physical health, head to DirectDental.com, quickly build your profile with your preferred work schedule and start browsing jobs today!