If you have been on TikTok recently, you have probably come across a video featuring the following quote: “You have to start romanticizing your life. You have to start believing that your morning commute is cute and fun — that every cup of coffee is the best that you’ve ever had. That even the smallest and most mundane things are exciting and new.”
Between balancing coursework, preparing dental school applications and maintaining a social life, it’s inevitable to not feel overwhelmed or stressed. The pandemic has exacerbated challenges with our physical health, while also amplifying many academic, mental and social challenges.
The practice of meditation in some form has always been a part of my life. Growing up, my father would meditate and often speak to my brothers and I on the importance of the practice for the health of the connective relationship between mind, body and soul.
How is your body positioned at this moment? How are your arms and legs situated? Are your shoulders slouched? Is your head bent over? Regardless of the answers, you just practiced mindfulness simply by becoming aware of the present moment. We often go through a whole day without checking in with our bodies. Our minds are constantly jumping from one thought to the next without a break. We rarely allow our minds to rest for even a few minutes in a day.
If you keep up with Mouthing Off, then you’ve read several posts about stress relief and mental health. And if you are like me, you read them, but you don’t change any habits because of the notion that “there’s not enough time” to do so. Despite their stress-relieving benefits, I was continually telling myself that I didn’t have the time to do yoga or meditate. Over the past couple months, though, I noticed that with graduation looming, I was not sleeping well. I believed my lack of sleep was due to increased stress, so, while awake in the middle of the night, I searched for ways to relieve stress.
Is stress taking a toll on you? There are a number of warning signs of someone who is out of balance. While these symptoms may take up to several months to appear, they are gentle hints that you need to stop and take care of yourself. Your coursework may be affected if you don’t have the energy you need to be at your best.
Being a dentist seems glamorous, fun and exciting. There is always a new challenge around the corner with every patient. However, the process of becoming a dentist is not always glamorous and fun. A significant number of hours are spent behind a laptop studying for exams and quizzes. What’s more, there are assignments, simlab requirements, patients to treat and board materials to study. The rigors of dental school can cause you to sleep less and abandon socializing, ultimately increasing mental fatigue and stress.