Stress: a word that may be all too familiar in dental school. It can be our worst enemy and sometimes very hard to cope with. With the pressure of exams, competencies, deadlines and the constant game of playing catch-up, feeling stressed is often too well known to a dental student. It is important for us to maintain solid mental health to tackle all of the challenges of dental school and make clear, focused clinical choices. One way to do so is to be active and maintain strong physical health. Exercise can be anything, as long as it gets your blood pumping. Here are a few suggestions…
During my first year in dental school, Dr. Greer, an oral pathologist and novelist, told our class that we each needed to have a hobby other than dentistry. At the time, I didn’t know how I would find time for that. But Dr. Greer’s remarks left an impression on me. And the next year I did something about it.
Twenty four hours just never seems like enough time to accomplish everything on your to do list. But when you think about it, if you are getting 7-9 hours of sleep, there are still about 15 or more hours of your day! Planning ahead and planning smart can help you be more productive while taking care of yourself. One strategy to consider using is blocking your schedule. I like to visualize my days and weeks like what you see on Google Calendar. There are visual “blocks” for each activity.
Students get the ergonomics lecture during the first year of dental school. But when it comes to beginning sim lab to do a crown prep, all that positioning tends to go right out the window. “I’ll work on my positioning once I get the actual dentistry down,” right? Then clinic starts and you will do anything to feel like you can actually see or to avoid indirect vision. Those future neck and back problems can get their start as early as dental school. Here are some exercise tips for countering those PSPs in office or at home.
In the wake of the tragic loss of ASDA Past President Jiwon Lee in 2014, an association-wide wellness initiative was launched. ASDA has identified and/or created several resources to help its members maintain physical and emotional health, and mental well-being. Here are a few you should check out and share with classmates.
It’s the first day of school and you’re already late. You quickly shower, change, grab a banana, and rush out the door. After class, you stop for coffee to help get you through the day. Next up is that dreaded orientation seminar during which you’ll be spending most of the time thinking about lunch: a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, diet coke, and a bag of chips. Busy with classes and meetings, your first day is over and you finally head home. You relax, catch up with friends, and sit down for dinner. For dessert, you sneak in that slice of chocolate cake that your roommate knew you wouldn’t be able to resist. It’s the end of the night and you do some homework, brush your teeth, and go to bed. Everyone knows that snacking on sugary and processed foods is bad for your waistline. But what about the effects of an unhealthy diet on your oral health?
I’ve been stressed lately and it has been affecting my health. My stress manifests itself as headaches but I’ve worked with enough dental students to know that stress can also show up as depression, anxiety, weight loss or gain and myriad other ailments. Maybe your stress is having a mental impact on your life or maybe you feel rather happy but you’re seeing some physical signs of stress (do hair loss or upset stomach sound familiar?). Read on for some tips on dealing with your stress…