If you’re like us, you take pride in caring for your patients by helping them with their basic dental needs, however sometimes it’s easier to take care of others than it is to take care of ourselves when it comes to working in a caring, health care profession. That’s why the need for self-care is so important, that and the fact that when we work so closely with others, we tend to become physically drained. This is why it’s of the utmost importance to implement self-care practices into your daily life. There are a variety of ways you can help implement self-care in order to be the best that you can be for your patients, and avoid the burnout that is typical of helping and medical professions. Here are three of the many ways to implement self care, and ways to determine if you’re nearing the point of burnout yourself.
Stress, fatigue and burnout can be triggers to start looking into self-care practices. Principles underlying self care include a commitment to cognizance of one’s own practice and taking affirmative actions to keep things balanced. This may include mindfulness practices, deep breathing techniques, and even cleansing rituals to rejuvenate and restore your mind, spirit and body, thus redirecting your energies toward your patients. In addition to this you may:
1. Get more sleep: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults require between 7-8 hours of sleep per day. Developing good sleep habits and obtaining the amount of required daily rest can help you reduce stress and improve your overall long-term health and longevity.
2. Eat healthy: Your diet is just as important as your sleep. The National Institute of Health provides several important tips regarding maintaining a healthy lifestyle and the importance of adults following prescribed daily dietary guidelines, as well as remaining physically active in order to prevent the onset of certain diseases, thus improving on one’s overall health. As a health care professional one must certainly understand the importance of not only advising your patients on following your advice for proper dental care, but in also taking that same advice when it comes to meeting your own health needs and taking care of your body.
3. Engage in creative outlets: Invest as much time as you would in providing patient care as you do in engaging in those avocations outside of your dental practice. This includes becoming active in leisure activities such as bicycling, hiking, golf (any sport really), arts, crafts and other pursuits that allow you to direct energies toward productive efforts that reduce stress and renew your spirit.
It’s important to invest as much energy and effort in self care as it is to invest in new technologies. Due to the fact that you’re engaged in a caring profession, falling prey to stress, burnout and compassion fatigue is normal. If you recognize that you’re reaching a point where the level of enthusiasm toward meeting the needs of patients has waned—or you’ve developing a sense of apathy—
immediately examine those areas of your practice causing the greatest levels of stress and dissatisfaction.
You may decide outsourcing your dental billing for (OAT) and mandibular advanced devices (MAD) is essential. This may allow for you to focus on self care principles vital to ensuring you continue to offer the highest standard of care for your patients and others who depend on you. Contact Dental Billing Sleep Solutions (DBSS) to assist you in renewing your energy and commitment toward meeting your patient needs today.