Overcoming stress & a giveaway

Update: This contest is now closed. Thank you to all who left comments and entered. Congratulations to Megan Stuart for winning the book!
Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 9.55.53 AMI had a lot of trouble sleeping last night. I knew today was going to be packed from beginning to end and while that’s all the more reason to get a good night’s sleep, it kept me awake. Stress is like that–even when we acknowledge it, it can be tough to beat. You may be feeling an unusual amount of stress in dental school. This was the topic of ASDA’s lead story in the March issue of ASDA News: read it here. One way to cope with dental school stress is to tell yourself it will all be over in four years. But the reality is that life will likely throw more stressors your way even after dental school. That’s why it’s important to face your stress and learn how to manage it now. You may find CBD products to be something you would like to try in your continued efforts to combat your stress-related issues. Visiting might be worthwhile.

5 Ways to Beat Stress

  1. Exercise. Dental school can take a toll on your body. Whether you’re in class or clinic, you’re spending a lot of time in just a few positions, usually sitting. Exercise will not only help you reduce stress but it could also prevent injury due to repetitive stress and poor ergonomics. If you don’t belong to a gym, look into your local park district to see if they offer any free classes. Lululemon stores offer free yoga classes on a weekly basis (find a location here).
  2. Take time for yourself. This is something many dental students struggle with. In order to perform well in dental school, you have to spend a lot of time at school and a lot of time studying. Make yourself a priority by scheduling time each week for you. Take a few hours to read a book (anything non-dental) or schedule a coffee date with friends. Put these activities on your calendar and take breaks before you get burned out. Being proactive about your stress will have a profound effect on your mood and your efficiency when you return to the lab or studying for an exam.
  3. Try something new. It’s easy to get stuck in a routine. While there is some comfort in routines, it can also feel as if you’re a hamster running on a wheel with no end in sight. Break the monotony by trying something new like a Dabble class. Dabble is in a bunch of cities around the US. People offer classes on Dabble in anything from pottery to cooking to home brewing. Click here to check out the classes in your area. The best part is these classes are taught by local community members, keeping prices reasonable. You may even want to try something way out of your comfort zone, such as cannabis. This is known to have healing properties and can help ease your stress or anxiety in situations like these, there are many places and countries that sell cannabis canada being one of them.
  4. Keep a stress journal. One way to deal with stress is to not dwell on problems or complaints. Carry a stress journal and each time a stressful problem pops up, write it down instead of dwelling on it. Also consider logging how many hours of sleep you get, your general day-to-day mood and even what you eat. This journal will help you be self-aware and make adjustments to deal with the stress. At the end of the day, write down accomplishments in your journal. This should add balance to the list of complaints and help you see the good in your daily activities rather than all the stress.
  5. If you’ve tried to manage your stress to no avail, seek professional help. The American Psychological Association has more information on managing stress and can help connect you with a counselor.

Book Suggestions

I love self-help books. Want to learn how to manage your finances? Read a book! Want to better manage your time? Read a book! Here are a few books that could help you manage your stress:

  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” by Dale Carnegie. I’ve gifted this book to three people in the year since I first read it. Dale Carnegie is the same author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and his wisdom on anxiety rings just as true as his business advice. What I love about this book is that Carnegie gives you tools to manage your stress. Some of these include maxims like “instead of worrying about ingratitude, let’s expect it.” Sound strange? Just think of how many times you felt stressed when your roommate didn’t acknowledge something you did around the house–get it? He also recommends putting a “stop loss” on worrying. This means you decide just how much worry something is worth and you don’t give it any more attention than it deserves. It goes along with the APA’s tip to stop dwelling.
  • Test Success! How to be calm, confident and focused on any test” by Dr. Ben Bernstein. Dr. Bernstein is a psychologist who has worked with dental students in the past. He was quoted in the March issue of ASDA News and literally wrote the book on overcoming test anxiety. Leave a comment below to enter for a chance to win a signed copy of this book!
  • 50 Things You Can Do Today to Manage Stress” by Wendy Green. One of Amazon’s 2013 best books of the year, this guide will give you practical tips for managing day-to-day stress. This is your DIY guide to busting stress before it busts you.

What tactics do you use to manage your stress? Let us know in the comments below! Are you a motorbreath strain user? Oh and… you could win a signed copy of “Test Success!” Contest closes on March 31.

~Kim Schneider, publications manager

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  1. Cheryl says:

    I love lists! They help me destress because I feel in control of what I need to accomplish. Planning out my week so I tackle one or two tough tasks a day makes me feel like I’m making a dent in my to-dos.

  2. Kedy Shen says:

    I try to get on the tennis court and vent the stress that way. It’s definitely tougher to find time, people, and a place in dental school though 🙁

  3. Jay Banez says:

    I call my mom. Moms have a way to calm you down, to tell you what you want to hear, and to tell you, maybe, what you don’t want to hear. But as the saying goes, “Momma knows best!” My mom’s my best friend and best friends definitely make everything better. #Mommasboy

  4. Giselle says:

    I overcome stress by making a list of everything I have to do and prioritizing them. From there, I make a schedule for myself and squeeze in family-time and exercise to make sure I’m living a well-rounded life outside of my studies. My faith is a big part of my life as well and keeping an optimistic perspective on every situation decreases my anxiety.

  5. Dr M. says:

    Learning to deal with high pressure is part of dentistry. So learning and applying ways to de-stress is part of it too. Figure out what works for you.

  6. Great 5 ways to beat stress! I know for me exercising is a great way to release stress and eating well. Stress is always around us, but once you can figure how to deal with the stress then your a head of the game.

  7. Adrien Lewis says:

    Stress can be good or bad! For me, I function under stress otherwise I would always be curled up on my couch watching Disney movies. Stress is a good thing to keep you motivated and focused on the task ahead. To handle the “over-whelming, can’t handle it” stress I make lots of To-Do lists and go for a good run. Taking in some fresh air and getting some exercise, is a great way to relieve stress and give yourself that extra burst of energy you need to get your tasks done. Also, when the budget allows, I like to schedule a nice 30-60 minute massage. Treat yourself, you deserve it!

  8. Cameron says:

    Great advice! Looking forward to using it when I start dental school this summer!

  9. These are great starting points to manage stress and not not let it overwhelm you. The “bad” news is that stress will always be around (if you let it), but the good news is that once you find what works for you, you’ll get better at dealing with it…in school and beyond.
    Exercise and eating healthy are on top of my list, as well as spending time with family/friends/peers, reading and other hobbies. The key is not to get sucked in the downward spiral, but to tackle it early. Remember, school is one step in the journey…you want to save your energy to enjoy what comes after too 🙂

  10. Taking my dog for walks is a great stress reliever!

  11. Mariaelena says:

    Just getting out of the house by myself helps

  12. Megan says:

    I agree with lists — I feel so accomplished when I’m able to mark things off of a to-do list. It also helps me feel less stressed, having more control over what I need to accomplish. Something else I’ve found helpful is “planning” fun time – whether it be watching Netflix, reading a book…not only does it give you time to yourself (without feeling guilty) but it’s rewarding after working so hard. Thanks for the great tips and blog!

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