How to minimize stress in the dental field ?

Life can be stressful living in silicon valley. Between work and paying bills and picking up kids, trying to cook fresh meals where is the time to work out and stay fit.

As the days pass my belly is getting bigger. My husband calls me "Jelly Belly" and says we have to fix that. Hence I decided to write an article on Living a healthy stress-managed life in the dental field. There is nothing called stress free life ...if somebody told you it is possible they are lying.

So lets begin with eating healthy …. We started something called "Cooking Days", we grocery shop twice a week on Wednesday and Saturdays or Sundays. And cook up 5-6 healthy quick dishes on those days for the week. We are also making a conscious effort in eating more vegetarian meals. We found that assigning two days out of the week to cook and do the dishes and store the food in class containers BPA free. You can heat the glass containers in the microwave instead of plastic which releases toxins that are carcinogenic.

I was spending an average of $5-6 breakfast, $15 lunch and we even ordered in or ate out if we both got home and there was no food. ($15-20 for dinner) = $40/ day . Cooking at home costed $5-6 / day. Savings = $40x30 = $1200  ($14,400 a year) before tax i.e you need to make $18,720 per person.

Wow ! That is a massive no. unbelievable. Now you know how your $4.00 coffee Starbucks addiction and eating out addiction can very quickly add up. And then you have to get a $130 gym membership to burn off those calories that some how never seem to want to leave me …. at least somebody love me … my calories !!!

Believe or not we were eating meat every single day. The anxiety of the animal when they kill the chicken or the lamb, the emotions in the animal remain in the meat. Minimizing meat products help in decreasing anxiety and fat levels in the diet. My favorite go to comfort food is a yummy lamb curry, with some white Basmati rice. Growing up in the southern parts of India, in the state of Tamil Nadu, we cook goat meat in a mean stew made with curry leaves and spices. The memories of home and craving my mothers home cooking, have made me seek the same in every nook and corner of the Bay Area. Old habits die hard …. I am still trying to break them.

Ok … lets talk about managing stress in the dental field. Yes you heard right, dentists have the highest rates of suicide. Why is that ? Its a lonely profession and most of the times, patients are not happy when they are in pain. They leave their angst behind.

After a day at the dental office, seeing 50-80 patients as an Orthodontist, I do something called a sage clearing. I clear my space at home with sage and bathe in essential oils like Eucalyptus. I bought an aroma therapy diffuser from amazon for $30 with 10 different essential oils. I switch them around depending on my mood. I also practice something called 8-10. My husband and I invented this concept where we turn off all electronic devices and unplug between 8pm and 10pm every night.  This is a time where we can focus on talking with each other, entertaining friends, cooking together, reading, etc.  The idea is to relax your mind and spirit, and prepare for a good night's rest.  It works surprisingly well and after some time, you don't even notice the absence of the electronic gizmos.  We're not perfect, but we don't need to be.  Just try it. After the invention of the I-phone a lot of couples have stopped hanging out with each other in the evening, as they hang out with their phones :) Its lonely even when you are with someone.

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Dentistry and Dental Assisting can be quite a sedentary lifestyle. We move from one chair to the other. Yes we are exhausted but have burned few calories. So wake up in the morning keep your walking shoes by your beside with socks ready. A pair of tracks and a t-shirt ready to go and do a brisk 30 mins of walk jog in the am before you start your day. Make it a priority !!!

Moral of the story in 5 lines:
1. Cooking Days : Wed and Sunday (Shop, Prep, Cut and Cook)
2. Less Meat more Vegetables
3. Sage, Incense and Essential Oils
4. 8 to 10 very important .. speak to your family and spouse !
5. Get Moving ! 30 mins every morning !


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