As dental professionals, we’re so busy making a difference in our patients’ lives that we often forget to take care of ourselves. 

We spend the bulk of our time sitting in chairs, which means we don’t get much physical exercise. We have hectic schedules, which can leave us feeling stressed, flustered, and overwhelmed. The lifestyle of dentistry is taxing on us both physically and mentally, so we often get stuck in unhealthy cycles. Over time, that adds up to significant negative implications for us.

As Elijah recently posted in the Trapped in an OP Facebook community, “Take care of your health, without it you have nothing.” Your attitude and actions can make a difference in your health. Here are three simple actions you can take and attitudes you can adopt that will make a huge difference in your life and get you out of that unhealthy cycle.

Exercise, even when you are tired.

Walking from the practice to our car isn’t sufficient exercise if we want to live a better life.

Even half an hour of exercise before or after work can make a difference. Bike, walk, jog, pump some iron, or do any moderate physical activity. You’ll feel better, look better, and have more energy. You might even get inspired to eat healthier, lose weight, and improve your overall health.

Something a lot of people don’t know about exercise is that in addition to the benefits it brings for your physical health, it has mental health benefits as well from releasing chemicals in your body. These chemicals—primarily endorphins—can alleviate symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and more.

It might be tough to stick to a routine because of time constraints or physical exhaustion but, once you get into the swing of things, exercise can absolutely change your life for the better in many ways.

Treat yourself well with regular self-care.

Sometimes something as simple as treating yourself to a little self-care can make a world of difference. Of course, going on a vacation can be great for your health as you relax and spend some time stress-free. So what are you waiting for? Go on a dental cruise with Elijah! Go on a ski trip! Visit Machu Pichu!

If you can’t afford a vacation right now or just don’t have the time to spare, there are more accessible ways to get that self-care. You could get a massage, see a therapist, or surround yourself with more uplifting, positive people, like the ones you’ll find in the Trapped in an OP, Nifty Thrifty Dentists, and Dental Hub 360 Facebook groups. Don’t hesitate to spoil yourself.

Tap into deeper meaning.

If you are the spiritual type, make sure to take regular time to tap into your spiritual side. Regularly engaging in emotional, mental, and spiritual connectivity with things beyond ourselves offers a plethora of physical and mental health benefits.

If you’re new to tapping into a deeper meaning, you can start simply through meditation. Meditation isn’t only a time to just breathe and have some peace and quiet—it can boost your immune system, reduce loneliness, reduce stress and depressive symptoms, lower blood pressure, and help you sleep better. How could anyone say effects like those aren’t perks that will change a life for the better? Other ways to tap into deeper meaning include exploring universal energy, religious expression, and engaging in deep philosophical exploration,

What would make a difference in your life?

In a stressful industry like dentistry, healthy habits might be what you need to change your life for the better. Have you started doing any of these things? How do they make you feel? If not, start small but start. Your future self will thank you.

If you’re interested in more content like this or want to surround yourself with a community of uplifting, positive, and inspirational dental professionals, join the Trapped in an OP, Nifty Thrifty Dentists, and Dental Hub 360 Facebook groups today!