Stress-reducing Tips for Busy Professionals: How to Change Your Focus

By Julie Morris, Life and Career Coach

Letting go of stress when you’re a busy professional is never easy. If you’re in the dental field, you probably already know how much stress and anxiety can affect you on a given day with so many people counting on you to help them. The mental and physical fatigue that can come with job stress can take a huge toll on your mood and your health, so it’s imperative to look for ways to reduce those feelings and focus on the things that matter most.

One of the best ways to do this is to get organized. Figure out what priorities need your attention first and make lists, checking off your tasks as you complete them so that nothing gets overlooked. Then, look for ways you can take a time out during your day to focus on yourself. Even if it’s only for 15 minutes at a time, learning to take care of your own needs even as you’re doing your job can help you learn a healthy balance that will stick with you for a lifetime.

Get organized

Declutter. Keep a journal or planner. Make sure you have contact information for your clients in one spot, where it will be easy to find. Getting organized means making your life easier, and it can help you become better at what you do while simultaneously reducing the stress and anxiety that comes with working long hours or being your own boss. Take the time to make sure your calendar is up to date so you can keep track of your engagements and keep communication open with your family members so that everyone is on the same page when it comes to your time. This is especially important if you’re working from home.

Manage your time and money wisely

Good time management is the mark of a professional, and it will allow you to stay on top of your responsibilities while reducing the stress that comes with a busy week. It’s nearly impossible to stay calm and focused when you’re rushed to complete jobs, so sit down and work out a timetable for each project you have on your plate and think of ways you can ensure they’re done without delay. Hint: The solution will rarely be to work more hours or take on more tasks.

Typically, the answer to better time management is actually better money management. Maybe you need to hire more staff, invest in better equipment or increase your efficiency. While the thought of taking out a loan can be stressful, it’s more than just another payment. With proper planning and implementation of resources, more capital means more business. Qualified employees can free up your time by completing tasks that steal your time — like bookkeeping or answering phones — and allow you to take on more projects. It also can mean faster, more efficient equipment or increased inventory so you can sell more, faster. In the end, any of these investments can mean less stress for you.

Outsource

When it comes to managing your time, it’s also a good idea to outsource tasks at home. Some days, there just aren’t enough hours to get everything done without sacrificing eating and sleeping, and that’s when it’s necessary to hire someone to help out. Whether it’s to assist with your lawn work, cleaning your house, running errands or walking your dog, there are companies that can assist you for a reasonable fee. Look online for your specific needs to find one in your area.

Take care of yourself

One of the easiest ways to reduce stress is to take good care of yourself. From eating right to getting daily exercise, it’s important to make sure your body and mind are in good shape. If you’re a dental professional, this can be difficult when you work long hours, so make an effort to keep healthy snacks at your desk, and work in some activity during the day. Get up, walk around the office, do some stretches at your desk, or run up and down the stairs a few times to get your heart rate up. These small actions will help relieve stress and will keep you feeling good at the same time.

Getting rid of stress isn’t always easy, especially when you’re working long hours to achieve your goals. However, it’s important to look for small ways you can change your lifestyle so that the stress doesn’t take over. With a good plan, you can start feeling better in no time.

Julie Morris is a life and career coach. More information can be found on her website at juliemorris.org.

ADA Statement on Study Involving Dental Floss

By the American Dental Association

Recent, wide-spread news coverage based upon a recent research study may raise unwarranted concern about the safety of certain types of dental floss. The ADA Science Institute finds the data insufficient to support the conclusions presented in this research and associated media coverage.

No restrictions on the use of dental floss have been issued by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the regulatory agency that oversees clearance of dental products marketed to the public. It also is important to bear in mind that this is a single study. Public health policy and safety decisions should be based on the collective weight of scientific evidence.

The study, published in the Journal of Exposure Science & Environmental Epidemiology, involves a small sample of 178 women and their self-reported use of a wide array of consumer products and foods.

The study measured blood samples from 178 women and found that those who reported using a certain brand of dental floss had higher levels of a type of PFAS called PFHxS (perfluorohexanesulfonic acid) than those who didn’t.

One of many shortcomings of this study, according to the ADA Science Institute, is that the study measured fluorine as a marker of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene), though the women in the study who reported using a particular brand of floss were found to have elevated levels of PFHxS.

PTFE often is used in food and beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetic applications. The fact that the researchers were able to find the PTFE marker in several brands of floss does not mean that it is the source of the PFHxS in the women.

Given that this was a retrospective study including self-reported use of products, there are likely many other differences between women who did and did not report having used the brand of floss mentioned.

The ADA sees no cause for concern based on current evidence, and above all continues to encourage people to clean between their teeth daily with floss or another interdental cleaner as part of the ADA’s daily oral hygiene recommendations.

This news release was published on the ADA’s website on Jan. 14, 2019 and can be found here.

Dentists Warn of Dangers Linked to DIY Dentistry

The popular trend of DIY dentistry is popping up in social media and online videos, but the American Dental Association is warning consumers to steer clear of doing at-home dentistry.

FDA member Dr. Monica Gonzalez says she recently noticed alarming changes to one of her patients who used an at-home teeth straightening system.

Click the image below to see the news report.

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It’s Never Too Early to Quit Smoking

By The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Quitting smoking can be challenging, but you can find support for your quit journey where and when you need it, to raise your chances of quitting for good.

“I’m sick of this addiction.” Clay A. left that comment on the CDC Tobacco Free Facebook page. “I quit for a year and four months and came back,” he went on to say. “Quitting is not easy.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health (OSH) knows that it may take a number of tries before you’re able to quit for good, but we also know that it can be done.  In fact, so many people have quit that there are now more former smokers than current smokers in the United States. Quitting can be challenging, but you can find support for your quit journey where and when you need it, to raise your chances of quitting for good. This year, make a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking for good.

“At this time of year, we know that many smokers make a resolution to quit and start off on a healthier course,” says Corinne Graffunder, DrPH, MPH, director of OSH. “If now is your time to quit tobacco, there are many tools available to help you find and follow a quit strategy that works for you.”

Whether you’ve never tried to quit or have tried many times, a new year means another chance to create your successful quit plan.

Never Too Early To Quit

No matter how long you’ve smoked, there are health benefits to quitting. James, a participant in the Tips From Former Smokers® campaign and a smoker for 30 years, started having some trouble doing everyday tasks. He also learned he had diabetes. So James decided he needed a healthier lifestyle. He put down cigarettes and started exercising. Quitting smoking gave him the energy to bike, run, and swim — things he couldn’t imagine doing before.

James said he wanted to send a message to people who think smoking won’t harm them because they haven’t had a major smoking-related illness. “I want to help people like me quit smoking,” he said. “Maybe nothing really bad has happened to you yet. Maybe you’re lucky, but you’re probably not going to stay lucky.”

Still a Leading Cause of Death

Even though adult smoking rates are at an all-time low, cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the country, with 480,000 people dying every year.

Smoking is linked to many dangerous diseases, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, emphysema, and cancer. Smoking around others hurts their health, too. Breathing secondhand smoke can cause many of the same illnesses as smoking does. It can make children get sick more often, and smoking while pregnant raises the risk of a baby dying suddenly in the first year of life. No amount of secondhand smoke is risk-free.

Find What Works for You

Every smoker’s quit journey is different. It may take some time to find the strategies that help you stay quit. It helps to create a personalized quit plan. Some of the steps in an effective quit plan include:

  • Picking a quit date. Choose a date only a week or two away and highlight that day in your calendar or phone.
  • Telling loved ones and friends that you’re quitting. Let them know how they can help you quit.
  • Listing reasons to quit.
  • Getting rid of cigarettes and anything that reminds you of smoking.
  • Picking out feelings, places, and situations that make you want to smoke. It’s easier to avoid them if you’ve identified them!
  • Having healthy strategies to fight cravings.

Build Your Strategies

Smokers crave cigarettes because they contain a drug called nicotine, and smoking makes your body dependent on nicotine. Stopping smoking causes nicotine withdrawal, which can be uncomfortable, especially in the first weeks. There are ways to get through withdrawal — these can include support from family or a counselor, as well as medication that helps ease cravings.

It may take many tries to quit. The important thing is not to give up. Health care providers, such as doctors and nurses, can be good supporters in your quit journey. Your doctor may recommend some of the medications approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to help people quit smoking. These may include nicotine replacement therapy medicines, which are patches, gums, or lozenges that give the body a small amount of nicotine to ease cravings without the other harmful effects of smoking cigarettes. Pharmacists can let you know about the effects of any medicine your doctor prescribes.

It’s Not Too Late

Whether you smoked for decades, like James, or only just started, whether you have a smoking-related illness or haven’t felt the damage from smoking yet, quitting right now can put you on the road to better health.

Says former smoker Dean G.: “Can’t wait to see my health continue to improve. Quitting is the best decision I ever made.”

This article was originally posted by the CDC on Dec. 31, 2018 and can be found at bit.ly/2VplsQZ.